April 27, 2018

AMD CEO admits blockchain is important, but calls the technology “a bit of a distraction in the short term”.

CEO Lisa Su of AMD, an American multinational semiconductor company, said that Blockchain is “a bit of a distraction in the short term” in an interview with CNBC April 26.

Su admitted the importance of blockchain, stating, "It's a very important technology [...] The idea you can do all these peer-to-peer transactions, a decentralized network, it’s a good technology, but frankly l think it's a bit of a distraction, in the short term.”

Su mentioned better-than-expected growth in her company in the first quarter of the current year, stating that rather than getting caught up in the hype surrounding blockchain, they would focus on their core markets. When asked whether she thought blockchain was “temporary in nature… and not a reliable avenue of future growth” she said:

“The long-term technology around blockchain is an important technology, and we’re spending a lot of time with some of the key influencers in this area, so I think it’ll be here for the next 3,4,5 years. Now what it does tomorrow vs. yesterday, I think that’s anyone’s guess.”

AMD’s stock jumped 11 percent on April 25 after an announcement that they had outperformed earnings estimates. When asked by an interviewer whether the company was underplaying the role of Ethereum mining hardware in this success — the interviewer cited 23% of first quarter 2018 revenue — Su replied:

“We believe blockchain or mining was about approximately 10 percent of our revenue during the quarter. And the truth is there are a lot different factors in these estimates. We feel we have a very good idea of what people are using our products for. It’s a nice growth factor, but it’s certainly not the dominant growth factor in our story.”

While in her recent statement Su expressed caution around blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, in December last year she claimed that AMD was very interested in participating in blockchain technology and the cryptocurrency mining market.

on April 27, 2018 04:00 AM tagged with Mining

A weekly technical price overview.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

NEO has been an underperformer in the ongoing recovery from the lows. It has dropped to the tenth spot in terms of market capitalization.

Many believe that NEO’s potential will be fully realized only in about 3-5 years from now, so it seems to be a good idea to ‘hodl’ the cryptocurrency through the dips.

Let’s look at the charts and try to analyze its long-term and short-term potential.

Weekly chart


Post listing, NEO exchanged hands below $1 for a long time. Then, at the end of May 2017, the price started to rise and hit a high of about $58 levels in August of last year.   

After such a sharp rally, it was logical to expect some profit booking, and that is what happened. Prices corrected to the 20-week EMA but managed to stay above it until early December.

The cryptocurrency again broke out of the range in mid-December, and the up move topped out around the $200 mark in mid-January 2018. The ensuing correction reached a low of just about $44 levels in early April of this year.

If history is an example, the digital currency rallies hard, follows it up with a deep correction and after a period of consolidation the up move resumes.

In the current bear phase, NEO has completed a sharp correction, we can now expect it to consolidate for a few weeks and then resume its uptrend once again. Currently, the 50-week SMA is providing support, while the 20-week EMA is acting as a resistance.

Let’s identify the important levels on the daily chart.

Daily chart


The NEO/USD pair recovered smartly from the lows but is facing a stiff resistance at the downtrend line and the horizontal line around the $80 mark. Though the bulls succeeded in breaking out of $80 on April 24, they could not sustain the highs, and the price dipped back below the trendline on the very next day.

Currently, we find a rounding bottom pattern, which will complete on a breakout and close above $80 levels. This has a pattern target of $115. Another possibility is that, above $80, there is a minor resistance zone between $92.5-$95.5. Once this is crossed, the cryptocurrency could skyrocket to $140 levels.

On the other hand, if the price breaks down below both moving averages and $64, it will become weak and slide back towards the early April lows.

Can we make use of the information above?

How to trade the NEO/USD pair now

Long-term investors can expect a few weeks of consolidation, but history suggests that the next trending move should be to the upside. Therefore, they can wait and buy NEO on dips and keep a stop loss of $40.

Short-term traders can wait for a breakout above $85 to establish long positions with stops around $65 levels.

Traders who follow us and are long at $64 levels should maintain their stops on the remaining position at breakeven. Currently, the cryptocurrency is finding support at the moving average. A bounce and a break above $85 should reward the traders immensely. Hence, hold the position with the designated stops.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

on April 27, 2018 04:00 AM tagged with IOTA

It's pretty safe to say that Amazon Prime is a very popular service, with over 100 million subscribers. Many will call Prime invaluable, from the great shipping options to the wide selection of media to consume. But a change is coming and it's coming soon: Amazon is raising the U.S. annual fee for Prime to $119, versus the $99 it is currently. This price hike will affect new subscribers starting on May 11 while renewals will still get the $99 price until June 16.

Read More

Amazon Prime increasing to $119/yr starting May 11 for new subscribers, June 16 for renewals was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on April 27, 2018 03:43 AM tagged with News

Connected security cameras seem to be popping up all over the place these days and while they're really tempting for some of us, the high cost of entry is deterring. Luckily, we can count on sales to help ease that monetary burden a bit. Canary's all-in-one 1080p indoor security camera has fallen below $100, sitting at $98.57 on both Amazon and Chewy. That's $70.43 off.

This camera features Alexa and Assistant integration, a 147° wide-angle lens, a built-in siren, a climate monitor, and motion tracking.

Read More

[Deal Alert] Canary's 1080p indoor security camera is $99 on Amazon and Chewy ($70 off) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on April 27, 2018 03:16 AM tagged with security camera

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from “Atlanta” Season 2, Episode 9, “North of the Border.”]

In a note to journalists before the “Atlanta” episode “North of the Border” aired on Thursday, FX Networks warned:

Tonight’s episode is rated TV-MA and contains nudity, violence and strong language. The frontal nudity will not appear in the version airing on the FX network linear telecast. The unedited version will air ONLY on FX+.

“Atlanta” has been delivering layered and meticulously crafted episodes throughout the season. It follows that adding nudity isn’t just a whim or salacious play, but a deliberate choice that serves a purpose. With that in mind, IndieWire watched the unedited version to see what warranted showing that anatomy.

The scene in question doesn’t feature an intimate sexual encounter, but instead an absurd, borderline nightmarish scenario — the kind that has become “Atlanta’s” trademark. Earn (Donald Glover) and his friends are on a college campus in Statesboro for Paper Boi to perform at a Pajama Jam concert, but have to flee after an altercation. They end up in the Epsilon Theta Xi frat house full of white guys, but don’t appear to be in any danger despite the Confederate flag emblazoned on one wall and a literal room full of guns on the premises. The ones who are in the most vulnerable position? Two rows of Greek pledges who are naked with sacks over their heads.

Read More:‘Atlanta,’ ‘Legion,’ ‘The Good Place’ and More Series Break Down Heady Philosophical Riddles — No Textbook Required

Being nude and on display would’ve been bad enough, but that’s just the beginning of their degradation. As Earn and Alfred (Brian Tyree Henry) sit on the couch, one of their hosts reminisces about how he used to love snap music, such as D4L’s “Laffy Taffy.” Inspired, he then proceeds to play the song on his phone and tells the naked pledges, “Do this dance for our new friends. Snap, y’all!” They undulate and snap, their penises bouncing to the rhythm until he orders them to stop.

It’s the ultimate in humiliation… until what comes next. When the two cousins are left alone, Alfred fires Earn as his manager, blaming him for the disastrous series of events at Pajama Jam. In Earn’s mind, it’s Tracy (Khris Davis) who’s at fault for pushing the girl Violet (Jerusha Cavazos) downstairs and later throwing the first punch when she called on some guys to defend her. Earn spirals out from there, first losing his cool when he realizes that Violet trashed all of their belongings and stole his laptop, and then later when he’s taught a brutal lesson after challenging Tracy to a fight.

Unfortunately, much like the classic tragic hero, Earn’s failure has been inevitable from the beginning of this season. His struggle parallels the plight of the frat pledges. Earn has signed up for a responsibility that he hopes will improve his lifestyle, but not only is he not ready, he’s left vulnerable by his biggest flaws: his blindness and pride. While Earn has always seemed like the sane one — the guy whose reactions to the violence and surreal events most reflect our own — he’s also the one who’s been living in a fantasy. Earlier in the season, we see this in how poorly he handles money. He got stunted on, not by other people and an unjust society, but by his own hubris.

In contrast, Tracy and the guys at Epsilon Theta Xi are at one with the chaos of life around them and act accordingly while toeing the line. Earn, in his supposed greater wisdom, resists and tries to force the chaos to conform to his ideals. He’s limited by logic, and that leads to his undoing.

Read More:‘Atlanta’ Writer on Paper Boi’s Heartbreaking Loss, ‘Teddy Perkins,’ and Life After ‘Deadpool’

In this episode, Violet is his blind spot. He can’t see why Alfred is upset with his creative lodging solution that puts them in her power just to save money. Instead, Earn sees himself as the maligned hero. He had protested Tracy being on the trip from the start, and when the violence ensues, Earn is the one who catches Violet before she’s seriously harmed falling down the stairs. He sees Tracy as the instigator of chaos, but he missed that it’s Violet’s obsession with Paper Boi that escalates everything at Pajama Jam.

Even after getting fired, he’s blind to his own poor judgment and compounds it by confronting Tracy, who is clearly far better equipped at fighting than Earn is to the point that Tracy dictates how the entire tussle plays out. This confrontation makes it clear that his volunteering to be Paper Boi’s security wasn’t the most ridiculous idea after all. By episode’s end, Earn’s downfall is complete: he’s lost his job, the fight, and his pride. Figuratively, he’s been stripped bare, can’t see due to his own poor choices, with his manhood humiliated,  and dancing to another man’s merciless tune. All that’s missing is “Laffy Taffy” playing over the fight.

With two more episodes left in the season, it remains to be seen if this experience will push him to finally see the world through a more realistic lens. Like Alfred, who had an epiphany in the woods last week, perhaps this will help put the “Earn” in “learn” for our hero. Then again, this is the same guy who said in the pilot that he can’t win for losing. He very well could follow the trajectory of another tragic hero, Oedipus, who after fulfilling his grim prophecy, stabs himself in the eyes, bringing his blindness full circle.

”Atlanta” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

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on April 27, 2018 02:45 AM tagged with FX

Fox motion picture chairman Stacey Snider’s CinemaCon gave a moving eulogy for her transitioning studio; she made a similar case for the power of movies to bring people together with shared humanity. The Fox fanfare and reel of the great films from the studio over 85 years brought tears to more than one in Caesar’s Colosseum.

While the studio’s highlight reel ranged from “Gentlemen’s Agreement,” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” to “Fight Club” and “Avatar,” a line from John Ford’s “How Green Was My Valley” resonated: “Something is going out of this valley that will never be replaced.” It felt like a wake. What will happen? Nobody knows, but it won’t be the same. And Snider, who choked up as the Fox fanfare played, may not be able to finish what she started.


Read More:Fox Film Boss Stacey Snider On Industry Consolidation Like Disney-Fox: “Just Buckle Up And Take The Ride” – CinemaCon
Stacey Snider20th Century Fox presentation, CinemaCon, Las Vegas, USA - 26 Apr 2018

Stacey Snider at the 20th Century Fox presentation

Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

She reminded the audience that “The Greatest Showman” is still in theaters in its 18th week. “A heartfelt musical with no franchise history or Broadway run that has broken records is the third-biggest live action musical of all time,” she said. “In our rapidly transforming landscape, as the movie business faces challenges from streaming and subscription services, changing platforms and portability, ‘The Greatest Showman,’ an old-school tried-and-true rags-to-riches song-and-dance motion picture, defied the rules of gravity as it aims to please in every frame.”

The studio started its Thursday-morning presentation with a hilarious Caesar’s hotel room video with hungover Deadpool giving his “canned ‘can’t be there in person’ apology,” at this annual “excuse to cheat on your spouse on the company dime,” he said. “Comcast dodged a bullet,” he added. “Aronson is so fucked.”

Fox distribution head Chris Aronson emerged from the rumpled bedclothes in his “The Greatest Showman” outfit, while Hugh Jackman sported a hotel bathrobe; lastly, Goofy crawled out of the bed. In other words, when Fox is sold to Disney no one knows who will survive the merger.

Like every studio in Hollywood, tentpole sequels anchor Fox’s slate. It looks like more of same for “Deadpool 2,” complete with truck stunts and skydives, a returning T.J. Miller, and a younger group of would-be superheroes added to the Deadpool team, along with one-eyed villain Josh Brolin. “You’re so dark, are you sure you’re not from the DC universe?” asked Deadpool, referring to Brolin’s “Infinity War” incarnation.

Rami Malek Freddie Mercury Gwilym Lee Brian May Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury) and Gwilym Lee (Brian May) in “Bohemian Rhapsody

Alex Bailey/Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Oscar Bait

While scandal-tainted director Bryan Singer was nowhere near Fox’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” presentation, the musical biopic developed over a decade by producer Graham King looked terrific. Rami Malik channeled late rock star Freddy Mercury, whose blockbuster Queen anthems are still broadcast at events all over the world. Malik looks good for an Oscar nod.

“When I got this role, I said, ‘Oh my God, this is a career-defining performance or a career killer,” he said. “If you don’t get this right it’s trouble…He gives everyone watching him the ability to embrace their imperfections and still sing as loudly as they can. Brian May said to me he was moved to tears.”

Rack up yet another likely Weta Digital VFX Oscar nomination for “Alita: Battle Angel.” While James Cameron was working on “Avatar” and its sequels, he passed the directing reins for his long-in-the-works future-world “Alita: Battle Angel” screenplay to Robert Rodriguez, who thanked his mentor for sharing a “master class in big-movie storytelling and world building. Making a full-on movie in the style of James Cameron was a dream of mine. It’s the best collaboration I’ve ever had.”

The footage of fierce cyborg Alita (performance captured from actress Rosa Salazar), rescued and restored from a scrap heap by father figure Christoph Waltz, was “Matrix”-level amazing. In one clip, big-eyed Alita wakes up and discovers her new body. An eye-popping fight scene has her dodging with mathematical precision a fearsome eight-foot opponent with ten lethal whirling finger-chains. Mahersala Ali, Jennifer Connelly and Jackie Earl Haley costar.

On the real-life drama side, inner-city drama “The Hate U Give” is adapted from Angie Thomas’s book by George Tillman Jr. Russell Hornby and Common are two fathers dealing with the untimely death of an 18-year-old boy shot by police. Discovery Amandla Stenberg stars as Star Carter, a young woman with two personas, one for her neighborhood and another for her mostly white private high school. Her friend’s death moves Star to fight back against police violence.

“There’s an appetite for new voices and different stories,” Stenberg told the crowd. “It’s easy to be desensitized to what’s happening in media and news. This harnesses the power of film to make these stories human and relatable.” Anthony Mackie and Issa Rae costar.

“The Martian” writer and “The Cabin the Woods” director Drew Goddard’s moody thriller “Bad Times at the El Royale” assembles a starry cast of seven shady strangers coming together for one fateful night in a nasty hotel. Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth and Dakota Johnson costar. Per Aronson: “They have one last shot at redemption before everything goes to hell.”

21 Laps’ YA book adaptation “Darkest Minds” also stars Stenberg. The government packs the nation’s children under 18 into prisons as they recover from a virulent future virus that gives them extra powers, from enhanced intelligence and telekinetic powers to mind control. “The more I try to control it, the more damage I do,” says Stenberg’s powerful teen.

Steve McQueen moves into contemporary crime thriller mode with Regency’s “Widows,” written by Gillian Flynn. Four women led by Viola Davis find they have nothing in common but the debt left behind by their dead husbands from their criminal activities. Davis is married to Liam Neeson, who gets caught in a robbery gone wrong. Michelle Rodriguez, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Elizabeth Dubecki, Daniel Kaluuya, and John Bernthal costar.

Shane Black (writer of “Lethal Weapon,” director of “Iron Man 3”) takes on yet another “Predator” (September 14) decades later. A confusing trailer with Jacob Tremblay, Sterling K. Brown, Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn and Keegan Michael Key offered more of the same.

on April 27, 2018 02:02 AM tagged with Twentieth Century Fox

IBM partners with diamond industry leaders to create a blockchain network that ensures the provenance of finished pieces of jewelry.

Leaders in the gold and diamond industry have partnered with IBM to develop a blockchain network for tracing the origin of finished pieces of jewelry, IBM announced in a blog post April 26.

The TrustChain Initiative is partnership of precious metals refiner Asahi Refining, jewelry retailer Helzberg Diamonds, precious metals supplier LeachGarner, jewelry manufacturer The Richline Group, and independent verification service UL. The measure aims to provide increased transparency across the supply chain.

Based on the IBM Blockchain Platform and the Hyperledger Project, the initiative is designed to track and authenticate diamonds and precious metals from their place of origin to their retail location. It provides “digital verification, physical product and process verification, and third-party oversight,” aiming to assure customers that their jewelry purchases are ethically sourced. Bridget van Kralingen, IBM Senior Vice President of Global Industries, Platforms, and Blockchain, said:

“Consumers care deeply about the quality and source of the jewelry they purchase. This is evidenced by the fact that 66 percent of consumers globally are willing to spend more to support sustainable brands. TrustChain is an example of how blockchain is transforming industries through transparency and viable new business models that specifically benefit the consumer.”

By applying the technology, the consortium of the companies reportedly intends to digitize processes, establish a shared, immutable record of transactions within the network, and enable access to trusted data in real time. Mark Hanna, Richline Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, commented on the initiative:

“TrustChain is the first blockchain of its kind within our industry, designed as a solution that marries IBM’s leading blockchain technology with responsible sourcing, verification and governance by third party organizations, led by UL as the administrator.”

According to the announcement, the product will be available to jewelry consumers by the end of the year.

Earlier this year, Canadian gem-quality diamond producer Lucara Diamond purchased a digital platform, Clara Diamond Solutions, that uses blockchain technology to track the provenance of diamonds.

Canadian NGO Impact left the Kimberly Process initiative in January of this year. The blockchain initiative from De Beers aimed to ensure that diamonds were conflict-free, but Impact felt that the program did not live up to its goals, saying that, “There’s no meaningful assurance that a diamond is conflict free [...] The public is under the wrong impression that the problem is solved.”

Last month, soft drinks producer Coca-Cola teamed up with the US State Department and three other companies to launch a project that utilizes blockchain in order to address the problem of forced labor. The project will use a distributed ledger to create a secure registry for workers and contracts.

on April 27, 2018 01:00 AM tagged with Adoption

A pet-based game allows players to breed either real animals or unusual creatures. As well as standard gameplay with levels and achievements, the project offers the chance to make money through crypto.

The integration of cryptocurrencies into the games industry has seen a rapid increase in games of multiple genres that are being powered by the Ethereum Blockchain. Blockchain Cuties is a new example of such a platform. This pet-based game allows players to ‘own’ either real animals such as dogs and cats, or branch into the fantasy world with unusual creations. As well as standard gameplay with levels and achievements, Blockchain Cuties offers the chance for players to make money through earning cryptocurrency.

The gameplay concept is simple: own your ‘Cuties’ (pets) and train them to level up and progress through the game. Each Cutie is an ERC-721 token, and can be swapped with other gamers, or sold in an exchange for cryptocurrencies. There is no upper limit on how many Cuties players can own. The website describes the aim of the game as being to “collect them, breed them, test their skills in battles, arm them and even level up!”. The battles in question can take place against other users in the multiplayer mode, using an automatic turn-based format - where one player attacks, while the other defends and vice versa. Winners of said battles receive ‘useful wearable or consumable items’ for their cuties, allowing further customization and personalization, or increasing their levels. In addition, both winners and losers of the contests will gain ‘experience’ points to help their Cuties towards levelling up.

The Blockchain Cuties presale offers participants the chance to obtain ‘super rare’ cuties, which will hold a permanent advantage for players in terms of power bonus, along with other bonuses dependent on the pet that is held. Most of these Cuties will only be available during the presale and not following the official game launch, and subsequent Cutie prices will rise by 20 percent.

As the game is currently very new, the developers of Blockchain Cuties are keen for feedback from users on both positive and negative aspects of the gameplay experience. As an incentive for encouraging players to join the community, the top twenty most helpful users of the beta version and early launch will be offered free and ‘unique’ cuties following the initial launch of the game.

For those interested, the Blockchain Cuties blog will provide further updates on the game progress.


Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

on April 27, 2018 01:00 AM tagged with Gaming

Tom Brokaw has been accused of sexual harassment by Linda Vester, a former war correspondent for NBC News. She’s shared her allegations with Variety, alleging that Brokaw — the lead anchor on NBC’s nightly news program for more than two decades as well as a host on both “Today” and “Meet the Press” — harassed and groped her in the early-to-mid 1990s.

Read More:Kit Harington Says Sexual Harassment Is ‘Everywhere’ in Show Business

Vester claims that the first incident took place in 1993, while she was covering Pope John Paul II’s trip to Denver, Colo. “We were in the Denver bureau, and there was a conference room. I’m standing there, and Tom Brokaw enters through the door and grabs me from behind and proceeds to tickle me up and down my waist,” she tells Variety. “I jumped a foot and I looked at a guy who was the senior editor of ‘Nightly,’ and his jaw was hanging open. Nobody acted like anything wrong was happening, but I was humiliated.”

Vester says she didn’t report the incident for fear of retribution, thinking that it might end her career.

She also recounts two instances in which Brokaw made unwanted physical advances toward her. “He grabbed me behind my neck and tried to force me to kiss him,” Vester says of the first, which allegedly took place during the first week of January 1994. “I was shocked to feel the amount of force and his full strength on me. I could smell alcohol on his breath, but he was totally sober. He spoke clearly. He was in control of his faculties.”

Read More:Jimmy Kimmel Takes on Envelopegate, Sexual Harassment and Pay Inequities in Topical Oscar Monologue — Watch

Brokaw denies the allegations. “I met with Linda Vester on two occasions, both at her request, 23 years ago because she wanted advice with respect to her career at NBC,” he says via an NBC News spokesman. “The meetings were brief, cordial and appropriate, and despite Linda’s allegations, I made no romantic overtures towards her at that time or any other.”

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on April 27, 2018 12:40 AM tagged with Tom Brokaw

The Ubuntu team is very pleased to announce our seventh long-term support release, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS for Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core.

Codenamed “Bionic Beaver”, 18.04 LTS continues Ubuntu’s proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs.

The Ubuntu kernel has been updated to the 4.15 based Linux kernel, with additional support for Linux security module stacking, signing of POWER host and NV kernels, and improved support for IBM and Intel hardware enablement from Linux 4.16.

Ubuntu Desktop 18.04 LTS brings a fresh look with the GNOME desktop environment. GNOME Shell on Ubuntu is designed to be easy to use for people upgrading from 16.04 LTS and presents a familiar user interface. New features for users upgrading from 16.04 LTS include assistance with logging in to public Wifi hotspots and the Night Light feature to reduce eye strain in the evenings.

18.04 LTS also brings the new minimal installation option which provides a full desktop with only the essential packages installed, and a tool to easily enable Canonical LivePatch to apply critical kernel security fixes without rebooting.

Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS includes the Queens release of OpenStack including the clustering enabled LXD 3.0, new network configuration via netplan.io, and a next-generation fast server installer. Ubuntu Server brings major updates to industry standard packages available on private clouds, public clouds, containers or bare metal in your datacentre.

The newest Ubuntu Budgie, Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Studio, and Xubuntu are also being released today.

More details can be found for these at their individual release notes:


Maintenance updates will be provided for 5 years for Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Cloud, and Ubuntu Core. Ubuntu Studio will be supported for 9 months. All the remaining flavours will be supported
for 3 years.

To get Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

In order to download Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, visit:


Users of Ubuntu 17.10 will be offered an automatic upgrade to 18.04 LTS via Update Manager shortly. Users of 16.04 LTS will be offered the automatic upgrade when 18.04.1 LTS is released, which is scheduled for July 26th. For further information about upgrading, see:


As always, upgrades to the latest version of Ubuntu are entirely free of charge.

We recommend that all users read the release notes, which document caveats, workarounds for known issues, as well as more in-depth notes on the release itself. They are available at:


Find out what’s new in this release with a graphical overview:


If you have a question, or if you think you may have found a bug but aren’t sure, you can try asking in any of the following places:

#ubuntu on irc.freenode.net

Help Shape Ubuntu

If you would like to help shape Ubuntu, take a look at the list of ways you can participate at:


About Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a full-featured Linux distribution for desktops, laptops, netbooks and servers, with a fast and easy installation and regular releases. A tightly-integrated selection of excellent applications is included, and an incredible variety of add-on software is just a few clicks away.

Professional services including support are available from Canonical and hundreds of other companies around the world. For more information about support, visit:


More Information

You can learn more about Ubuntu and about this release on our website listed below:


To sign up for future Ubuntu announcements, please subscribe to Ubuntu’s very low volume announcement list at:


Originally posted to the ubuntu-announce mailing list on Thu Apr 26 22:59:59 UTC 2018 by Adam Conrad, on behalf of the Ubuntu Release Team

on April 27, 2018 12:30 AM

Sprint and T-Mobile weave a complicated relationship. For years they've desired each other, drawn inexorably to that most corporate copulation: the merger. In a landscape run by AT&T and Verizon, the two star-crossed lovers have struggled separately to carve a little chunk of the world (including the US telecommunications market) for themselves. And, according to a report by Reuters, after a long and conflicted courtship, their paths and profits may soon be joined. 

For a concise history of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger: First it was on, then it was off, then it was on again.

Read More

Report: T-Mobile and Sprint may agree to merger as soon as next week was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on April 27, 2018 12:10 AM tagged with What is love baby don't hurt me

Last Year’s Winner: Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Still Eligible: No.
Hot Streak: A nominee from HBO or FX has won this category nine times in the last 10 years — Laura Linney’s victory for “The Big C: Hereafter” in 2013 is the lone standout.
Fun Fact: Helen Mirren has the most trophies in this category. She’s won four times, including two for the “Prime Suspect” series.

Can Laura Dern become an Emmy winner two years in a row? After snagging her first trophy last year for “Big Little Lies,” Dern seems fated to snag another nomination (at least) for her hailed turn in HBO’s “The Tale.” The film earned rave reviews out of Sundance before the premium cable network picked it up, and the beloved Dern is front-and-center in the landmark cinematic memoir.

But she’s not the only one earning early Emmy buzz. Jessica Biel generated a ton of raves for her performance in “The Sinner,” the USA drama that was renewed for a second season. Whether or not the summer release sticks with voters after nearly a year off the air is its biggest challenge, but Biel won’t be forgotten easily. The same goes for Elisabeth Moss. Last year’s Emmy winner for “Handmaid’s Tale” is up for the same role again in 2018, but she’s also got “Top of the Lake: China Girl.” Released in September 2017, it, too, has been out of the public eye for a while.

Read More:Hayley Atwell on ‘Howards End,’ and Why She May Be Done with Agent Carter and Broadcast TV

Sarah Gadon is hoping all that “Handmaid’s” love translates to interest in another Margaret Atwood adaptation, “Alias Grace.” Meanwhile, Hayley Atwell has been earning glowing praise for her work in “Howards End,” and the Golden Globe nominee could snag her first Emmy nod for it. Michelle Dockery is looking for her first non-“Downton Abbey” nod (for “Godless”), and Edie Falco wants her first trophy since 2010 (fifth overall, after “The Sopranos” and “Nurse Jackie”).

But don’t discount the ruling Emmy darling in limited series: Sarah Paulson remains a favorite and starred in Ryan Murphy’s latest much-talked-about season of “American Horror Story.” “Cult” may not be a return to form for the oft-rewarded franchise, but Paulson is still formidable. She’ll have to beat out the likes of Catherine Zeta-Jones (“Cocaine Godmother”), Cristin Milioti (“Black Mirror: USS Callister”), Riley Keough (“Paterno”), and Anna Deavere Smith (“Notes from the Field”), but she can do it.

Read More:Jessica Biel Talks Her Daring New Role in ‘The Sinner’: ‘I Just Wanted to Get to Be a Little Nuts’

Below are IndieWire TV Critic Ben Travers’ predictions for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie (listed in alphabetical order), which will be updated throughout the season. Make sure to keep checking IndieWire for all the latest buzz and highlights from the 2018 race, and read predictions for the rest of the categories, as well.

Predicted Nominees:

  1. Hayley Atwell, “Howard’s End”
  2. Jessica Biel, “The Sinner”
  3. Laura Dern, “The Tale”
  4. Sarah Gadon, “Alias Grace”
  5. Elizabeth Moss, “Top of the Lake: China Girl”
  6. Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Cult”

Spoilers: Michelle Dockery, “Godless”; Edie Falco, “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders”; Kelly Macdonald, “The Child in Time”; Cristin Milioti, “Black Mirror: U.S.S. Callister”; Catherine Zeta-Jones, “Cocaine Godmother”

In a Perfect World: Carmen Ejogo, “The Girlfriend Experience”; Anna Friel, “The Girlfriend Experience”; Riley Keough, “Paterno”

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on April 27, 2018 12:02 AM tagged with Sarah Paulson

The managing director of Comcast’s venture capital arm is bullish on Bitcoin and future real world applications of blockchain.

Gil Beyda, managing director of the venture capital (VC) arm of Comcast, appeared on CNBC today, April 26, with a bullish outlook for Bitcoin and real world applications of blockchain technology.

Comcast Ventures has already invested in blockchain startups, and four of the firm’s partners are focused on blockchain investments.

Beyda emphasized that cryptocurrencies could have a significant impact on underdeveloped economies, with unbanked populations bypassing the traditional financial sector and moving directly to a crypto-based economy. He added that countering electoral fraud could be a major real world application for blockchain.

Nonetheless Beyda says that, “blockchain is still waiting for that killer app.” Beyda admits that the technology already has major disruptive potential in areas such as content distribution, e-commerce, and social media. However, he expects it will still be “a year or two” for a wholly new application to be imagined and dictated by the possibilities of the technology itself.

Beyda anticipates the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to soon finesse its regulations to bring Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) under its jurisdiction. He also advised investors to devote only 5 percent of their portfolio to crypto, saying he would proceed with “a lot of caution,” amid market volatility.

In January, Cointelegraph reported that VC blockchain investment in 2018 is already on track to exceed 2017’s numbers. Earlier this month, Venrock, the official venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family, announced its partnership with crypto investment and blockchain research firm Coinfund.

on April 27, 2018 12:00 AM tagged with Investments

April 26, 2018

There many variations on the premise of “Duck Butter,” in which Naima (Alia Shawkat) and Sergio (Laia Costa) commit to spending 24 romantic hours talking about life. Richard Linklater made a whole trilogy of them. Nevertheless, this amiable and ambling dramedy directed by Miguel Arteta and co-written by Shawkat in her screenwriting debut has its own unique sensibility, and while it falls short of coalescing into much of a bigger picture, manages to fulfill the expectations of its well-worn trope without screwing it up.

Read More:‘Duck Butter’ Trailer: Alia Shawkat and Laia Costa Make Love Every Hour For a Day

Initially, the movie threatens to become too meta for its own good. As “Duck Butter” begins, struggling actress Naima is driving to the L.A. set of a Duplass brothers movie, while listening to a podcast featuring the sibling filmmakers talking about their work. It’s a peculiar setup, not only because the very concept of a hardcore Duplass brothers fan (a Duplass-stan?) seems like the setup for an indie film punchline; the ensuing goofy on-set hijinks hint at a very different movie than the one following them. It’s almost as if Shawkat wanted to make a Duplassian comedy, but discovered a more soulful narrative in the process and movie makes a bumpy transition before stabilizing with a stronger plot. But, hey, that’s life, and “Duck Butter” shows enough sensitivity for its character’s odd journey to carry it through the uneven start.

Naima’s convictions about her talents quickly fizzle on set, where she makes an ill-conceived attempt to advise the brothers (Mark and Jay Duplass, hilarious as always) about the rest of the cast (Kumail Nanjiani and Lindsay Burge, who could totally pop up in a Duplass brothers joint at any moment).

At a club that night, Naima encounters Sergio, an ebullient Latin-American woman who’s a terrible singer but a magnetic stage presence, and their chemistry takes instant shape. Costa, a Spanish actress best known for the brilliant German heist thriller “Victoria,” stands out on the screen as a petite ball of energy ideally suited to play opposite Shawkat’s introverted Naima.

When Naima follows Sergio home, the carefree musician presents her with a strange proposal: Spend a full day in each other’s company, keep no secrets, and screw the outside world. At first, Naima’s too committed to her acting ambitions, but a sudden development leaves her jobless, and soon she’s writhing with Sergio in bed and rambling about the meaning of life. Lazy sex, playful moments at the piano, and ample existential chatter ensues.

Arteta has been exploring the gentle comedic rhythms of bored Angelinos since his breakout “Star Maps” more than 20 years ago, and the movie works best when it simply observes its characters’ pillow talk. (There are a handful of textured moments, where small gestures and glances say more than minutes of banter, worthy of Claude Chabrol.)

That’s not quite enough to compensate for a meandering third act, when of course all the tension between the women comes to the foreground in a screaming match. It doesn’t help that, while Shawkat gives Naima a credible blend of anxiousness and melancholy, the combustible Sergio seems like a half-formed character whose odd circumstances — a nice home and confidence in her artistic abilities — don’t quite gel with the reality of her circumstances. She’s a walking paradox: an angel designed to free Naima from her insecurities, and on some level, a contributor to them. “Duck Butter” never resolves that dichotomy, and her behavior extends to the movie’s tone, which oscillates from goofy toilet humor to tender exchanges without finding the happy medium to justify its big swings.

Nevertheless, “Duck Butter” remains a likable high-concept experiment, and it evades the trappings of its twee premise by resisting the romanticism Naima seeks. She’s destined to screw things up for herself, just like everyone else, and it’s refreshing to see a lesbian romance riff on this well-worn material without trying to make Naima’s sexual proclivities into a story point.

As a whole, it’s a gentle character study we’ve seen before, but Shawcat — whose work on “Search Party” and “Arrested Development” show her remarkable range — has enough grasp of these narrative tropes to wield them with confidence. The movie amounts to a tame, forgettable doodle, as if designed to imitate the scruffy Duplass movies that Naima worships; for Shawcat, however, it’s a promising step in a new direction that suggests a far more confident artist than the one she plays onscreen.

Grade: B-

“Duck Butter” premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. The Orchard will release it later this year.

on April 26, 2018 11:34 PM tagged with Reviews
From posting "boner killers" to helping law enforcement, victims of nonconsensual pornography are fighting back.
on April 26, 2018 11:04 PM tagged with Culture

Now defunct Japanese exchange Mt. Gox has recently moved $144 mln in BTC and $21.7 mln in BCH from its cold wallets today.

16,000 Bitcoin (BTC) and 16,000 Bitcoin Cash (BCH) have been moved out of cold wallets associated with the infamous, now defunct Japanese Bitcoin (BTC) exchange MT. Gox today, April 26, according to Mt. Gox cold wallet tracking data on Crypto Ground.

The wallets are under the control of Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy trustee, Nobuaki Kobayashi. As displayed on the cold wallet monitor, the exchange has moved 16,000 BTC, worth $144 mln, and 16,000 BCH, worth around $21.7 mln by press time. The sums were moved out in multiple batches of 2,000 BTC and BCH to various addresses. The BTC amounts were then consolidated in two transactions to a single BTC address, and the BCH in four transactions to a single BCH address.

Investor and Bitcoin enthusiast Alistair Milne, wrote on Twitter that the cryptocurrency community “obviously [doesn’t] know if [the moved coins] were sold or just moved for some other reason.”  

Some reports claimed that the previously reported $400 mln Mt. Gox sell-off from December through February led to BTC prices dropping as low as $6,000 in February.

Mt. Gox used to be the largest Bitcoin exchange in the world until hackers stole around 850,000 BTC ($460 mln at the time) from it in February 2014. A criminal investigation and attempts to refund users who lost money are still under the way.

Earlier in April, Mt. Gox ex-CEO Mark Karpeles claimed that he “doesn’t want” the 160,000 BTC ($1.4 bln by press time) that will reportedly be left over after the exchange repays its creditors.

Bitcoin is currently trading at an average of $9,126, up 0.06% on the day to press time. Bitcoin Cash is trading at an average of $1,357, up 1.43 percent.

on April 26, 2018 11:00 PM tagged with Japan

The 2018 Tribeca Film Festival has announced this year’s award winners, with “Diane,” “Smuggling Hendrix,” and “Island of the Hungry Ghosts” among the honorees. 99 feature-length films screened alongside 55 shorts at this year’s edition of the festival, which is ongoing until this Sunday, April 29.

“It is rewarding to honor films that tell important stories and moved our juries in profound way,” commented Jane Rosenthal, CEO, Executive Chair, and Co-Founder of the festival. “Whether they excite, incite, inspire or simply entertain, it is a privilege to launch this worthy group with this special honor at Tribeca.” Full list of winners:

Read More:One Year and $1 Million: ‘Nigerian Prince’ Filmmaker Returns to Tribeca After a Bold Experiment

U.S. Narrative Competition

Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature: Diane written and directed by Kent Jones. Winner receives $20,000, sponsored by AT&T, and the art award “The Lady of Shalott, Cool Evening” by Stephen Hannock. The award was given by on behalf of the jury by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal joined by Fiona Carter, AT&T, Chief Brand Officer.

Jury Comment: “Here we were presented with another very difficult decision, but after careful consideration we have chosen a film that we believe encompasses the beauty, aesthetic, as well as the powerful themes of love, struggle, life, death, and womanhood that are the spirit of this year’s Festival. For those reasons, our selection for this year’s Best Narrative Feature is Diane.”

Best Actress in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Alia Shawkat in Duck Butter. The award was sponsored by Chloe Wine Collection. The award was given by Justin Bartha on behalf of the jury along with Eben Gillette, Vice President of Marketing for Chloe Wine Collection.

Jury Comment: “To choose a Best Actress this year was a uniquely difficult decision, as this year’s Festival was jam-packed with truly amazing female performances. The actress we eventually chose to highlight gives a strikingly raw, connected, and honest performance about a character struggling to be raw, connected, and honest. This woman also co-wrote, co-produced and helped conceive this film…so it goes without saying that without Alia Shawkat there would be no Duck Butter.”

Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Jeffrey Wright in O.G. The award was given by Justin Bartha on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “This year’s best actor has been transforming himself on stage, film, and television for many years. His performance in this year’s competition entry testifies to his talent, sensitivity, and craft. With masterful restraint, the inner life of his character seethes out of his pores. He has crafted a performance that solidifies his standing as one of the greatest actors working today. The award for Best Actor goes to Jeffrey Wright, for O.G.”

Best Cinematography in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film: Wyatt Garfield for Diane The award was given by Bilge Ebiri on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “A cinematographer has to do more than just shoot pretty pictures. They have to help the director and the cast create a whole world, and then immerse us, the audience, in that world – all the while helping push the story forward visually, in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways. There were a number of exceptionally shot films in competition this year, but we were completely enraptured by the work of Wyatt Garfield for the film Diane

Best Screenplay in a U.S. Narrative Feature FilmDiane written by Kent Jones. Winner receives $2,500, sponsored by Chloe Wine Collection. The award was given by Alexander Dinelaris on behalf of the jury along with Eben Gillette, Vice President of Marketing for Chloe Wine Collection.

Jury Comment: “This year’s diverse collection of films were all founded upon haunting and humorous screenplays about dangerous relationships, battles for redemption, and yes, even chronic back pain. They were fearless, frightening, sad, and soulful. Singling out one of them was an incredibly difficult task. But that was the task we were charged with. Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” The screenplay we selected beautifully illustrated that notion through rich dialogue, complex characters, and elegant simplicity. It is for these reasons and many others that we have selected as the winning Screenplay of this year’s Festival…Diane, written by Kent Jones.”

International Narrative Competition

The jurors for the 2018 International Narrative Competition were Florence Almozini, Martha Coolidge, Andre Holland, Haifaa Al Mansour, and Ray Liotta.

Best International Narrative Feature: Smuggling Hendrix (Cyprus, Germany, Greece) written and directed by Marios Piperides. Winner receives $20,000 and the art award “Can We Turn Our Rage to Poetry” by Joan Snyder. The award was given by Ray Liotta on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “For its unique, comedic exploration of a complicated absurd political situation told in a clear, personal compelling way, the Best International Narrative Feature Award goes to Smuggling Hendrix.”

Best Actress in an International Narrative Feature Film: Joy Rieger in Virgins (France, Israel, Belgium). The award was given by Ray Liotta on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “The acting category was a challenge because all of the characters portrayed were fleshed out individuals, but none more than the 16 year old girl who had to navigate a sexual awakening among a life filled with hardship and yearning.  The actress portraying this character brought to life a sassy, sexually naïve teenager that is universally identifiable. The best actress prize goes to Joy Rieger for her portrayal of Lana in the film Virgins.”

Best Actor in an International Narrative Feature FilmRasmus Bruun in The Saint Bernard Syndicate (Denmark). The award was given by Ray Liotta on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “For his subtle comedic performance that manages to make a lasting impression on its audience and for his humorous, touching work that transcends both language and culture – he goes on a remarkable journey from a naïve furniture salesman to a murderer who’s battling ALS while selling Saint Bernard’s in China, we have chosen to award Rasmus Bruins from The Saint Bernard Syndicate as best actor.

Best Cinematography in an International Narrative Feature Film: Albert Salas for Obey (UK). The award was given by Haifaa Al Mansour on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “For its original, daring image-making that, along with bold direction, invites the viewer inside the tense circumstances of its characters lives, we have chosen Albert Salas as best cinematographer for his moving work on the film Obey.”

Best Screenplay in an International Narrative Feature Film: The Saint Bernard Syndicate written by Lærke Sanderhoff (Denmark). Winner receives $2,500. The award was given by Haifaa Al Mansour on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “While there were many wonderful scripts in this year’s Festival, we have chosen to acknowledge as best screenplay a comedy that manages to be truly funny and inventive in its exploration of a culture clash. This script was refreshingly original and gave its actors the opportunity to really shine. This year’s award for best screenplay goes to Lærke Sanderhoff for The Saint Bernard Syndicate.”

Documentary Competition

The jurors for the 2018 Documentary Competition were Dan Cogan, Kirsten Johnson, and Brett Morgen.

Best Documentary Feature: Island of the Hungry Ghostsdirected by Gabrielle Brady (Germany, UK, Australia). Winner receives $20,000, and the art award “Tehran, Iran (June 6, 1989)” by Julia Wachtel. The award was given by Dan Cogan and Kirsten Johnson on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “The Best Documentary award goes to a film that demonstrates extraordinary mastery of the full symphonic range of cinematic tools: cinematography, editing, score, sound design, and, perhaps greatest of all, an exquisite use of metaphor. To a film that moved us deeply, impressed us immensely, and made us feel we were witnessing nothing less than the emergence, fully formed, of a major new cinematic talent, we are thrilled to award the Best Documentary award to Island of the Hungry Ghosts.”

Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film: Niels van Koevorden for Tanzania Transit (Netherlands). Winner receives $2,500. The award was given by Kirsten Johnson on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “To witness the care taken in the framing of each shot of this remarkable film conveys pleasure in and of itself. That the aesthetic rigor of each of these images also opens the space for us to contemplate the challenges of being human with such gentleness is transfixing. This is a movie that dares to have no beginning and no end. We honor Niels van Koevorden with the Cinematography Award for Tanzania Transit because it gives us the deep slow shiver of seeing anew!

Best Editing in a Documentary Film: Frederick Shanahan, Jon Kasbe, Caitlyn Greene for When Lambs Become Lions (USA). Winner receives $2,500. The award was given by Dan Cogan on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “The award for Best Editing goes to a film that unfolds with the urgency and tension one expects from the best Hollywood thrillers.  From the opening frame to its startling climax, this film kept us on the edge of our seats.  It’s also worth noting that one of the films three editors is also the film’s brilliant cinematographer, producer, and director, Jon Kasbe, and the jury could have recognized him in either of those disciplines.  But ultimately it was the film’s incredible pacing that led us to present the award for Best Editing to the team from When Lambs Become Lions.”

Best New Narrative Director

The jurors for the 2018 Best New Narrative Director Competition were Josh Charles, Joshua Leonard, and Zosia Mamet.

Best New Narrative Director: Shawn Snyder, director of To Dust (USA). Winner receives $10,000, and the art award “Flash (To the tender flesh it went)” by Meghan Boody. The award was given by Josh Charles and Joshua Leonard on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “As jurors of Tribeca’s New Narrative Director section, we’ve had the unique honor of spending the past week watching a group of lovingly curated films from first time fiction feature directors. These directors come with their own backstories as unique as their movies… some are fresh out of school, while others have already made significant marks in other arenas. But regardless of their backgrounds, they’ve all now joined the ranks with some of the greats… which among a jury of three actors, also means that they are our future employers. So while Zosia regrets missing tonight, she did ask that we give you each copies of her resume… and Josh and I would love to take a moment to tell you about our special skill sets, which include fire-eating, knot-tying and Parkour.

This choice was not easy. There were many films this year that were made with unique vision, craft and heart that we wish we could recognize.  But ultimately, our decision was unanimous.

For a film that tackles a universal subject in a truly singular manner. A film that begins with loss and grief… but then transcends to take you on an exquisitely odd, sometimes hilarious, and always thought-provoking journey into the heart of our clumsy human struggle to heal and to connect. For the incredible performances of his two lead actors, and for a mastery of tone truly rare in such a young filmmaker, we are honored to present this year’s award to Shawn Snyder for his film, To Dust.”

Best New Documentary Director

The jurors for the 2018 Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award were Nelson George, Linda Knowlton, Elvira Lind, Basil Tsiokos, and Derek Waters.

Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award –Dava Whisenant for Bathtubs Over Broadway (USA). Winner receives $10,000 sponsored by CNN Films, and the art award “White Bowl” by John F. Simon Jr. The award was presented by Nelson George, Linda Knowlton, Basil Tsiokos, and Derek Waters on behalf of the jury along with Jon Adler, Senior Director Development, CNN.

Jury Comment: “The winner of the Best New Documentary Director goes to a film that we chose for many reasons. The story, the specific subject, the journey into a world we never knew existed.  This film also has an element every great film, doc, and story needs…heart. It’s an honor to give the award to Bathtubs over Broadway!”

Short Film Competition

The jurors for the 2018 Narrative Short Competition section were Steve Aoki, Amy Kaufman, Sheila Nevins, Alex Pettyfer, Norman Reedus, Alysia Reiner, and Ondi Timoner.

Best Narrative Short: Phone Duty, directed by Lenar Kamalov (Russia). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Nutella, and the art award “Learning How to Paint/Make A Wish” by Eddie Kang. The award was given by Alysia Reiner and Ondi Timoner on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “This film shows us the emotional weight inanimate objects can have, and the humanized war in a surprising and impactful way. The award for Best Narrative Short goes to Phone Duty.”

Shorts Animation Award: Late Afternoon directed by Louise Bagnall (Ireland). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Nutella. The award was given by Alysia Reiner and Ondi Timoner on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “This film portrays memory in an insightful and impactful way that opened our hearts. As the animation moves from colorful blobs into meaningful shapes and finally breaks through to her realizing the person she loves the most, we realize the experience of Alzheimer’s with a poignancy that stayed with us all. The Award for Best Animated Short goes to Late Afternoon.”

 The jurors for the 2018 Short Documentary and Student Visionary Competitions were Sapphire, Joe Daniels,  Amy L. Kaufman, Susan Lacy, and James Steyer.

Best Documentary Short: Notes from Dunblane: Lessons from a School Shooting directed by Kim A. Snyder (USA). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Nutella, and the art award “Fort Apache” by David Levinthal. The award was given by Joe Daniels  on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “This transcendent film adds a revelatory dimension to a subject that is at the epicenter of public consciousness today. We found the wholly original approach of this film allowed us to feel again about subject matter that had shattered our collective souls and left us numb. An emotional paralysis was lifted as we watched this film that allowed us to engage once again with the brutal reality that is America today. We give the Best Documentary Short to Notes from Dunblane: Lessons from a School Shooting.”

Student Visionary Award: The Life of Esteban directed by Inès Eshun (Belgium). Winner receives $5,000 sponsored by Nutella. The award was given by Sapphire and Susan Lacy on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “With a rare lyric intensity this filmopens a window to a young boy’s difficult navigation from early childhood to young adulthood in a single parent family. We watch the sublime intensity of Esteban’s journey through a world that has given him little, and yet paradoxically allows him to achieve much. The Student Visionary Award goes to The Life of Esteban

Storyscapes Award

The 2018 Storyscapes Award, presented by AT&T, which recognizes groundbreaking approaches in storytelling and technology, jurors were Myriam Achard, Marcie Jastrow, and Nicholas Thompson.

Storyscapes Award – Hero created by Navid Khonsari, Vassiliki Khonsari, and Brooks Brown. Winner receives $10,000, presented by AT&T, and the art award “Miracle” by Nancy Dwyer. The award was given by Mark Wright, VP Media Services and Sponsorships on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “Texture. Beauty. Heat. Life. Herois an extraordinary story of life in a country under siege. It uses ambitious technology, and pushes viewers right up to, but not past, what one’s senses can bear. It will help you understand where VR is going, but also, viscerally, in some ways where this world is going.”

The Nora Ephron Award

The 2018 Nora Ephron Award, presented by CHANEL, jurors were Joanna Gleason, Rebecca Keegan, and Sasheer Zamata.

The Nora Ephron AwardNia DaCosta director of Little Woods (USA). Winner receives $25,000, sponsored by CHANEL, and the art award “For Wonder Woman” by Ghada Amer & Reza Farkhondeh. The award was given by Rebecca Keegan on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “For its sure-footed storytelling featuring an unconventional heroine who pushes past expectations of what is bravery in a woman’s life or in cinema. In watching this portrait of a woman at a crossroads in small-town America, we found ourselves wanting to see more stories from this filmmaker and more of her vision of a woman in the world. We chose writer-director Nia DaCosta’s Little Woods.

Tribeca X Award

The 2018 Tribeca X Award, jurors were Bonin Bough, Zachary Heinzerling, and Brian Braiker.

Tribeca X AwardFor Every Kind of Dream series for Square. Directed by Mohammad Gorjestani for Even/Odd. The award was given by Brian Braiker on behalf of the jury.

Jury Comment: “The Square films showed an extremely deft sense of craft in telling a compelling and richly human story while maintaining a strong brand message throughout. We specifically responded to the Sister Hearts film, which elegantly told an poignant story about a marginalized community that was lifting itself up. We specifically responded to the level of intimacy captured with these women who opened up about their intensely harrowing and heartbreaking past, and whose presence and unfiltered character on camera makes us smile and shows a resilience that inspires. The role that Square plays fits seamlessly into the narrative, not lifting its head to show off, but instead lending a hand to the impressive journey these inspirational women have commanded.”

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on April 26, 2018 10:55 PM tagged with Tribeca

Hi All,

It’s release day!

With today’s release of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (the Bionic Beaver) the Ubuntu OpenStack team at Canonical is pleased to announce the general availability of OpenStack Queens on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. This release of Ubuntu is a Long Term Support release that will be supported for 5 years.

Further details for the Ubuntu 18.04 release can be found at: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BionicBeaver/ReleaseNotes.

And further details for the OpenStack Queens release can be found at:  https://www.openstack.org/software/queens

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

No extra steps are required required; just start installing OpenStack!

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

If you’re interested in OpenStack Queens on Ubuntu 16.04, please refer to this post which coincided with the upstream OpenStack Queens release.


The 18.04 archive includes updates for:

aodh, barbican, ceilometer, ceph (12.2.4), cinder, congress, designate, designate-dashboard, dpdk (17.11), glance, glusterfs (3.13.2), gnocchi, heat, heat-dashboard, horizon, ironic, keystone, libvirt (4.0.0), magnum, manila, manila-ui, mistral, murano, murano-dashboard, networking-bagpipe, networking-bgpvpn, networking-hyperv, networking-l2gw, networking-odl, networking-ovn, networking-sfc, neutron, neutron-dynamic-routing, neutron-fwaas, neutron-lbaas, neutron-lbaas-dashboard, neutron-taas, neutron-vpnaas, nova, nova-lxd, openstack-trove, openvswitch (2.9.0), panko, qemu (2.11), rabbitmq-server (3.6.10), sahara, sahara-dashboard, senlin, swift, trove-dashboard, vmware-nsx, watcher, and zaqar.

For a full list of packages and versions, please refer to [0].

Branch Package Builds

If you want to try out the latest updates to stable branches, we are delivering continuously integrated packages on each upstream commit in the following PPA’s:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openstack-ubuntu-testing/mitaka
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openstack-ubuntu-testing/ocata
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openstack-ubuntu-testing/pike
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openstack-ubuntu-testing/queens

bear in mind these are built per-commitish (30 min checks for new commits at the moment) so ymmv from time-to-time.

Reporting bugs

If you run into any issues please report bugs using the ‘ubuntu-bug’ tool:

sudo ubuntu-bug nova-conductor

this will ensure that bugs get logged in the right place in Launchpad.

Thank you to all who contributed to OpenStack Queens and Ubuntu Bionic both upstream and in Debian/Ubuntu packaging!

(on behalf of the Ubuntu OpenStack team)

[0] http://reqorts.qa.ubuntu.com/reports/ubuntu-server/cloud-archive/queens_versions.html

on April 26, 2018 10:54 PM

It's that time of the... quarter. 2018 Q1 financial reports are being published by most of the big tech names, and Samsung is likely pretty pleased with its performance so far this year. It isn't quite as high as the impressive 2017 Q4 results it previously posted, but it's sitting pretty with a total of KRW 60.56 trillion ($56 billion) in revenue, with KRW 15.64 trillion ($14.51 billion) in operating profit. That's a revenue increase of 20% and an operating profit increase of over 50% compared to Q1 2017, beating expectations. 

A glut of Samsung's earnings came from continued demand in memory as well as its overall semiconductor foundry efforts.

Read More

Samsung posts Q1 2018 financial results, tops expectations with record profits was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on April 26, 2018 10:50 PM tagged with revenue

Carrie Coon’s steady slide into sci-fi territory — including a surprise role in this week’s “Avengers: Infinity War” — appears to be continuing apace, thanks to an intriguing new role in the sci-fi action thriller, “Kin.” The film is the feature directorial debut of brothers Jonathan and Josh Baker, based on their short film “Bag Man,” which debuted at SXSW in 2015. (Curious? You can watch the short in full on its official website, but it might just give away more of the plot of “Kin” than you’d like.)

The film follows a young teenager (Myles Truitt) and his adopted brother (Jack Reynor), who are forced to go on the lam when a baddie criminal (James Franco), along with a pack of federal agents (including Coon!), and what’s billed as “otherworldly soldiers” start chasing after them. What’s all the fuss? A mysterious weapon that the brothers possess, one that might not be entirely of this world. The feature will expand out the short’s concept, adding in Reynor’s big brother character, along with Dennis Quaid as the pair’s father and Zoe Kravitz as a stranger who joins up with their cause.

Read More:Carrie Coon May Be Midwestern, but ‘Fargo’s’ Gloria Burgle Was One of Her Greatest Challenges Yet

Lionsgate picked up the rights to the film at last year’s Toronto Film Festival, when the ambitious feature was just in scripting stages. Screenwriter Daniel Casey wrote the script, and he’s got sci-fi chops to spare: he did an uncredited rewrite on “10 Cloverfield Lane” and is also working on Chad Stahelski’s “Kill or Be Killed,” reportedly about a murderous demon.

Check out the first trailer for “Kin” below.

“Kin” will be in theaters on August 31. 

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on April 26, 2018 10:16 PM tagged with Trailers

After a tortured production process that lasted two decades, “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote” was recently announced as the closing-night selection at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Anyone who knows how difficult it was for Terry Gilliam to complete his passion project inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ timeless novel will be unsurprised by the news that it’s hit yet another snag, this time in the form of a lawsuit from a producer who claims he owns the rights to the film.

Paolo Branco and his company Alfama Films Production are seeking an injunction to prevent Cannes from screening “The Man Who Killed Don Quixote,” with a statement claiming that its rights to the project “have been confirmed in three separate legal rulings.”

Read More:Cannes 2018: Terry Gilliam’s ‘Don Quixote’ to Close Festival, Michael B. Jordan’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Sets Premiere

“Alfama Films Production has been granted permission to obtain a writ against the Cannes Film Festival and will ask the president of the Paris District Court to impose a ban on the screening of the film by Terry Gilliam, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, due to the violation of its rights, rights which have been confirmed in three separate legal rulings,” AFP said in a statement. “For legal reasons, this film cannot be exploited in any way without pre-agreement from Alfama Films Production.”

Read More:‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote’ First Trailer: Terry Gilliam’s Fantastical Vision Is 20 Years in the Making

Pre-production on the film began a full 20 years ago, with Jean Rochefort, Johnny Depp, and Vanessa Paradis attached; several other actors have been attached to it in the ensuing years. “Lost in La Mancha,” a documentary about this failed iteration of the project, was released in 2002. Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgård, and Olga Kurylenko star in the film that’s finally been completed.

IndieWire has reached out to Amazon Studios for comment.

Sign Up:Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.
on April 26, 2018 10:11 PM tagged with The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
No Words With Friends for British Airways pilots, it's all about fuel calculations, safety notices, and maps.
on April 26, 2018 10:04 PM tagged with Transportation

Looking to pick up a cheap tablet? Amazon has you covered. Right now, you can get $50 off all variants of the Fire HD 10, meaning that you can pay as little as $100 for a 10" FHD tablet (32GB with ads). That's pretty great.

Whether you opt for ads or not, you're getting a 10.1" 1080p IPS LCD, an unnamed quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of storage, Alexa, and dual-band AC Wi-Fi.

Read More

[Deal Alert] $50 off Amazon Fire HD 10, starting at $100 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on April 26, 2018 10:01 PM tagged with tablet

MIT Technology Review published an article proposing three ways to “destroy Bitcoin”. Here’s why any of those won’t work.

On April 24, the MIT Technology Review published an article with a catchy headline, titled “Let’s Destroy Bitcoin”. The Internet was quick to react: media and bloggers started to spawn news, features and videos, reacting to “MIT professors” who supposedly called upon action against the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.

The reality is much more mundane. First of all, a lot of people failed to recognize that whilst Technology Review is wholly owned by MIT, editorially it is independent from the institute, and therefore does not represent MIT’s official position. The article was not written, nor edited by a MIT professor - or, in fact, any MIT member of staff at all. Not to mention that there’s quite a few problems with the content of the article itself.

“Let’s Destroy Bitcoin” is a part of Technology Review’s special issue on the future of cryptocurrencies and Blockchain. In a letter named “A Technology in Turmoil”, the editor explains the concept behind this series, mentioning that in the midst of initial coin offering (ICO) crackdowns and decrease in cryptocurrencies values - when compared to their best months in 2017, “a casual reader of the news might be forgiven for thinking that Blockchain mania is over”.

He then introduces the concept of the article in question: “Morgen Peck draws out three futuristic scenarios in which Bitcoin, the original and still the biggest cryptocurrency, might become irrelevant, supplanted by rivals”.

Whilst it’s unclear why the headline of the article in question imitates a public appeal for bringing Bitcoin down, as if getting rid of the largest cryptocurrency is generally a good idea. It doesn’t help that essentially, the author substitutes the decentralized and anonymous currency with state and corporate controlled coins that run on altered versions of Blockchain.

The article starts with the author assuming that “while Bitcoin has established an economy in which it’s impossible to forge transactions, it provides no defense against replication of the idea itself”. Peck goes on to suggest that “no one can copy an individual Bitcoin, but anyone can copy the idea of Bitcoin” and outlines three scenarios in which “a government, or a corporation, or even ordinary people” might make Bitcoin “useless or redundant”.

Therefore, the main problem is that the state and corporations cannot achieve the levels of anonymity and security that Bitcoin currently holds. The first scenario portrays a government takeover of Bitcoin with the creation of a Federal Reserve-backed coin (Fedcoin):

“The year is two-thousand-something-big, and it’s the day your taxes are due. But you don’t file them. Instead an algorithm automatically makes a withdrawal from your electronic wallet, in a currency called Fedcoin.”

This new Blockchain would have verified financial institutions as the authorized nodes instead of peer-to-peer networks, “basically, trusted institutions,” according to a Yale undergrad Sahil Gupta cited in the article. Potential players that would act as nodes in this large, state-controlled Blockchain? “Things like Bank of America, JP Morgan”. It is unclear how Wall Street corporations that have been involved in corruption scandals might eliminate or even reduce the demand for decentralized cryptocurrencies, where there is no central authority controlling your assets.

Therefore, FedCoin sounds like “a digital dollar, expandable through administrative fiat like paper dollars”, as a Reddit user noticed. “No serious limit, unlike Bitcoin. And no immutable Blockchain either”.

The second option is basically Facebook quietly taking over Bitcoin. The social media outlet creates a BTC wallet for all of its users (“Facebook users wake up to find a new goodie tucked into their profiles: a little button that says “Send Bitcoin.”), rewarding them in the cryptocurrency for interacting with ads, and giving them an ad-free experience if they let Facebook mine on their computer’s unused power, similar to what news site Salon offered earlier this year. 

“If Facebook could persuade a large enough fraction of Bitcoin users and miners to run its own proprietary version of the Bitcoin software, the company would thereafter control the rules. It could then refashion Bitcoin as a corporate version of the Fedcoin described above.”

Then, according to Technology Review, Facebook gets an opportunity to take control away from Bitcoin by issuing their own cryptocurrency, just like Telegram. Telegram however, is an encrypted app that is currently in the midst of war against Russian government demanding access to user messages, while Facebook is still under an investigation for privacy issues and data misuse.  

Whilst it is possible that an average user might disregard the potential unsafety of a “corporate version of the Fedcoin”, hypothetically opting for the comfort provided by an integrated wallet - Facebook’s Messenger app allows to transfer money, although the choice of currencies and countries is strictly limited - such a currency can hardly be regarded as a solid substitute for Bitcoin.

Moreover, the mining option seems questionable as well. As a Reddit user puts it, “the argument that Facebook could use the spare cycles of their customers computers is about the same as saying a botnet could take over Bitcoin. At this point, regular computation that doesn't involve an ASIC can't do much of anything.” Another user agrees: “The third example they give, where Facebook starts mining using normal people's computers, misunderstands how massively ASICs outperform ordinary computers. Zuckerberg's army of botnet computers simply could not compete”.

Finally, the third way of making Bitcoin “irrelevant” is the creation of multiple new cryptocurrencies for every situation:

“You’re in the checkout line at the grocery store. Inside your phone’s digital wallet you find not only Fedcoin and FacebookCoin but also AppleCash, ToyotaCash, and a coin specific to the store you’re standing in. There’s also a coin redeemable for babysitting services, and another that gets you rides on your local subway system”.

This option, according to Technology Review, is “already happening,” as companies are creating their own coins or tokens to be used just for their services, like Kodak’s ICO to form a currency used to license photographs. Indeed, there are hundreds of ICOs and tokens being issued regularly these days, however, as with the scenarios described above, they still don’t substitute the idea of Bitcoin. We don’t stop regarding gold as an asset just because there are plenty of other luxury equivalents.

It seems that Technology Review’s author might have failed to recognize the cultural value of Bitcoin, namely the security and anonymity it guarantees, implying that altered Blockchains backboned by a central authority are a efficient alternative to the world’s largest cryptocurrency. There are several scenarios, which can lead to the failure of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as an idea, as there is a never-ending discussion on these scenarios. Surely, none of them is in the MIT Technology Review text.

on April 26, 2018 10:00 PM tagged with MIT

Charles Babbage wasn't lying when he said "The only thing that would make my Difference Engine any better would be a modern customisable desktop environment that didn't deviate from traditional desktop paradigms (unless I wanted it to.)" In a long lost diary entry Ada Lovelace scribbled "If only my code could be matched to an OS that had a perfect blend of usability and style accompanied by a handpicked selection of quality software packages." ENIAC, moments before being unplugged in 1956, spat out a final message: "Give us a reboot when Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS is out will ya?"

Dust off 20,000 vacuum tubes and check those 5,000,000 hand soldered joints because Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS is here and it's time to power it up.

MATE Desktop 1.20.1 inclusion alone is enough to make Babbage weep with joy but there is still more. Caja is primed to encrypt your secrets with GnuPG, and with bulk renaming built right in to the file manager you can finally deal with those pesky family reunion photos.

Got a fancy new display and itty bitty pixels? HiDPI support bounds into this LTS, it's so dynamic you won't know what to do with yourself. We have tweaked desktop layouts, improved global menus, refined our Head-Up Display (HUD) and updated Brisk Menu. It's dandy!

We could scream it all here in this blurb, instead we suggest you take a scroll through the notes below and behold the majesty that is Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS.

We will scream "Thank You!" however. A "Thank You!" to everyone who contributed code, documentation, artwork, bug reports, translations or artwork. A "Thank You!" to the members of our community forum who offer advice and support to those who request it. A "Thank You!" to everyone who has supported the Ubuntu MATE crowd funding that helps reward and incentivise developers who work on MATE Desktop, Ubuntu MATE and associated technologies in their spare time. You are the 20,000 vacuum tubes and the 5,000,000 hand soldered joints that make up Ubuntu MATE. We couldn't be prouder.

Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS

No one reads the release notes, isn't that right DasGeek? So when our friend Stuart Langridge was reviewing our draft release notes and commented that they didn't speak to him, we thought "all right, we can fix that". Stuart, since you are such a special snowflake and no one else will read these notes, here they are, bespoke release notes just for you!

What changed since the Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS release?

Just about everything! Ubuntu MATE 18.04 is rammed to the rafters with new features and improvements compared to 16.04.

MATE Desktop 1.20.1

The MATE Desktop has transitioned from the GTK 2.24 based MATE 1.12 to the very latest MATE 1.20.1 based on GTK 3.22. This migration has been several years in the making, and most of 2016 and 2017 was spent refining the GTK3 implementation. The move to GTK3 has made it possible to introduce many of the new features you'll read about below.

Support for libinput has been added and is now the default input handler for mouse and touchpad, which has resulted in much improved responsiveness and support for multi-finger touch gestures.

Thanks to our friends at Hypra.fr accessibility support (particularly for visually impaired users) has seen continued development and improvement. MATE Desktop is proud to provide visually impaired users the most accessible open source desktop environment.


High DPI displays have a high resolution relative to their physical size that results in an increased pixel density compared to standard DPI displays. They are mostly found in high-end laptops and monitors. Our friends at elementary OS wrote a great blog post explaining What is HIDPI and why does it matter.

MATE Desktop 1.20 supports HiDPI displays and if you have one then Ubuntu MATE will automatically enable pixel scaling, presenting you with a super crisp desktop and applications. HiDPI hints for Qt applications are also pushed to the environment to improve cross toolkit integration. Every aspect of the Ubuntu MATE, its themes, its applications, its icons, its toolkit assets have been updated to take advantage of HiDPI.

Should you have a HiDPI display and want to disable HiDPI scaling you can do so via MATE Tweak (for the desktop) and Login Window (for the greeter), both are available in the Control Centre.

The File Manager (Caja)

We've added some new features to the file manager (Caja).

  • Added Advanced bulk rename - A batch renaming extension.
  • Added Encryption - An extension which allows encryption and decryption of files using GnuPG.
  • Added Hash checking - An extension for computing and validating message digests or checksums.
  • Added Advanced ACL properties - An extension to edit access control lists (ACLs) and extended attributes (xattr).
  • Updated Folder Color - An extension for applying custom colours and emblems to folders and files.
  • Replaced the deprecated caja-gksu with caja-admin which uses PolicyKit to elevate permissions in the file manager for adminstrative tasks.

gksu is deprecated and being removed from Debian. We are aligning with that objective by replacing all use of gksu with PolicyKit.

Caja Rename

Window Manager (Marco)

If your hardware/drivers support DRI3 then the window manager (Marco) compositing is now hardware accelerated. This dramatically improves 3D rendering performance, particularly in games. If your hardware doesn't support DRI3 then Marco will fall back to a software compositor.

Marco now supports drag to quadrant window tiling, cursor keys can be used to navigate the Alt+Tabswitcher and keyboard shortcuts to move windows to another monitor were added.

Desktop layouts

Using MATE Tweak you can try out the various desktop layouts to find one that suits you, and either stick with it or use it as a basis to create your own custom desktop layout.

A new layout has been added to the collection for the Ubuntu 18.04 release Ubuntu MATE 18.04. It is called Familiar and is based on the Traditional layout with the menu-bar (Applications, Places, System) replaced by Brisk Menu. Familiar is now the the default layout. Traditional will continue to be shipped, unchanged, and will be available via MATE Tweak for those who prefer it.

Here are some screenshots of the desktop layouts included in Ubuntu MATE to give you a feel for how you can configure your desktop experience.

  • Familiar - the default experience, a familiar two panel layout with a searchable menu
  • Mutiny - application dock, searchable launcher and global menus similar to Unity 7
  • Cupertino - a dock and top panel with searchable launcher and global menus similar to macOS
  • Redmond - single bottom panel with a searchable menu, similar to the taskbar in Windows
  • Pantheon - a dock and top panel with a searchable menu
  • Contemporary - modernised two panel layout featuring a searchable menu with global menus
  • Netbook - a compact, single top panel layout, ideal for small screens
  • Traditional Traditional - two panel layout featuring the iconic 'Applications, Places, System' menu

In order to create or improve the desktop layouts described above we've spent the last two years working on a number of projects across the MATE ecosystem that have enabled us to offer 8 different desktop layouts, each providing a different desktop experience. Here's some of the projects we worked on to make it all possible.

Super key

Super Key

Super key (also known as the Windows key) support is available in the majority of the desktop layouts. This means Super can be used to activate the menus/launchers, and other key-bindings that include the Super key also continue to function correctly.

MATE Dock Applet, used in the Mutiny layout, also includes launching or switching to docked items based on their position using in the dock using Super + 1, Super + 2 which will be familiar to Unity 7 users. Super + L is also recognised as a screen lock key-binding along with the usual Ctrl + Alt + L that MATE Desktop users expect.

Global Menu

The Global Menu implementation has switched from TopMenu to Vala Panel Appmenu which is compatible with GTK, Qt, LibreOffice, Firefox/Thunderbird, Google Chrome, Electron and others.

Global Menus are integrated in the Mutiny and Cupertino desktop layouts but can be added to any panel, for those who just prefer to use global menus or those who want to maximise screen space available to their applications.

Ubuntu MATE Global Menu



Ubuntu MATE 18.04 now uses Indicators by default in all layouts. If you've used Ubuntu, these will be familiar. Indicators offer better accessibility support and ease of use over notification area applets. The volume in Indicator Sound can now be overdriven, so it is consistent with the MATE sound preferences. Notification area applets are still supported as a fallback.

We've been improving Indicator support from release to release for some time now. In Ubuntu MATE 17.10 many of the panel layouts offered a complete line up of Indicators, all of which are fully compatible with MATE. The default Indicators are:

  • Optimus (only available if you have nvidia prime capable hardware and drivers)
  • Bluetooth
  • Network
  • Power
  • Messages
  • Sound
  • Session

MATE Dock Applet

MATE Dock Applet is used in the Mutiny and Netbook layouts, but anyone can add it to a panel to create custom panel arrangements. MATE Dock Applet has seen many improvements over the last 2 years, here are some of the highlights:

Icon scrolling

Icon scrolling is automatically enabled when the dock applet runs out of space on the panel to expand into. Move the mouse over either the first or last icon in the dock, if scrolling is possible in that direction the icon will darken and an arrow will be displayed over it. If you hover the mouse pointer over an icon in this state, the dock will scroll in the indicated direction. Icon scrolling is automatically configured and enabled when using the Mutiny desktop layout, when using any other layout scrolling can be enabled via the MATE Dock Applet preferences.

Icon matching

MATE Dock Applet no longer uses its own method of matching icons to applications and instead uses BAMF. This mean the applet is lot better at matching applications and windows to their dock icons.

Assorted improvements

  • Window lists and action lists now have rounded corners and point to their icon in the dock.
  • The delay before action lists appear when the mouse hovers over a dock icon can now be set in the preferences dialog.
  • Apps can now be pinned to specific workspaces, in other words their app icons only appear in the dock when a particular workspace is active. This allows users to customise the dock for each workspace they use.
  • When unpinning an application a notification is now displayed which allows the operation to be undone.
  • The appearance of progress bars on dock icons has been improved.
  • Popup windows (action lists and window lists) no longer steal focus from other windows.

Brisk Menu

Brisk Menu is an efficient, searchable, menu for the MATE Desktop. We've collaborated with the Solus Project, the maintainers of Brisk Menu. A number of features have been added so that, like Ubuntu MATE itself, Brisk Menu is chameleonic. You'll find Brisk Menu is used in several of the Ubuntu MATE desktop layouts and is presented slightly differently in each.

The Mutiny and Cupertino desktop layouts make use of a new dash-style launcher, which enables a fullscreen searchable application launcher while the other layouts present Brisk Menu as a more traditional menu.

Brisk Menu Dash Launcher

MATE Window Applets

MATE Window Applets make it possible to add window controls (mazimise, minimise and close) to a panel. We used Window Applets to enhance the Mutiny and Netbook layouts so that both will now remove window controls from maximised windows and relocate the window controls in the panel.

MATE Window Applets

Head-Up Display

A favourite of Unity 7 users is the Head-Up Display (HUD) which provides a way to search for and run menu-bar commands without your fingers ever leaving the keyboard. The HUD can be enabled via MATE Tweak. You activate the HUD by tapping Alt, you then enter a search query to find menu items, highlight the one you want and press enter to trigger it.

If you're trying to find that single filter in Gimp but can't remember which filter category it fits into or if you can't recall if preferences sits under File, Edit or Tools in your favourite browser, you can just search for it rather than hunting through the menus.

The purpose of the HUD is to keep your fingers on the keyboard and improve the efficiency in driving the menus for keyboard centric users. We've locally integrated the HUD for similar reasons; if you're looking at an application, why move the HUD to the top of screen away from where your eyes are already focused? Keeping the HUD within the context of the active application eliminates refocusing your attention to a different part of the screen, particularly helpful for users with high resolution or multi-display workstations.

Head-Up Display (HUD)

The HUD now has a 250ms (default) timeout, holding Alt any longer won't trigger the HUD. This is consistent with how the HUD in Unity 7 works. The HUD is also HiDPI aware now.

MATE Tweak

MATE Tweak can now toggle HiDPI mode between auto detection, regular scaling and forced scaling. HiDPI mode changes are dynamically applied and we've added a button to launch the Font preferences so users with HiDPI displays can fine tune their font DPI.

MATE Tweak has a deep understanding of Brisk Menu and Global Menu capabilities and manages them transparently while switching layouts. Switching layouts is far more reliable now too. We've removed the Interface section from MATE Tweak. Sadly, all the features the Interface section tweaked have been dropped from GTK3, making the whole section redundant. When saving a panel layout the Dock status will be saved too.

MATE Tweak

Ubuntu MATE Welcome

Welcome and Boutique have been given some love. The software listings in the Boutique have been refreshed, with some applications being removed, many updated and some new additions Welcome now has snappier animations and transitions. Applications selected for installation or removal via the Software Boutique are now added to a queue so you can select several installs and removals and process them all at once.

Browser Selection

A new Browser Selection screen has been added so you can quickly install your preferred browser.

Browser Selection

System telemetry

Ubuntu MATE Welcome can submit anonymised system information, generated during an install or upgrade, that will help the developers better understand what devices Ubuntu MATE is being used on. This data will be transmitted one time only and includes basic system components but nothing that is uniquely identifiable. Here is an example telemetry report from the workstation of the Ubuntu MATE lead developer. We kindly request that if you install Ubuntu MATE you participate in sending us a telemetry report.


General improvements

Minimal Installation

The Minimal Install is a new option presented in the installer that will install just the MATE Desktop, its utilities, its themes and Firefox. All the other applications such as office suite, email client, video player, audio manager, etc. are not installed. If you're interested, here is the complete list of software that is removed from a full Ubuntu MATE 18.04 installation to make the minimal install.

Minimal Install

So, who's this aimed at? There are users who like to uninstall the software they do not need or want to build out their own desktop experience. So for those users, a minimal install is a great platform to build on. For those of you interested in creating "kiosk" style devices, such as homebrew Steam machines or Kodi boxes, then a minimal install is another useful starting point.


The Ubuntu MATE Guide is a comprehensive introduction to MATE Desktop and Ubuntu MATE including how to use everything we ship by default, along with detailed instruction on how to tailor, tweak and customise Ubuntu MATE to suit your preferences.

Ubuntu MATE Guide

Buy the books

Print and ebook versions of the books Ubuntu MATE: Upgrading from Windows or OSX and Using Ubuntu MATE and Its Applications are available from our shop.


Slick Greeter

Ubuntu MATE switched to Slick Greeter during the 17.10 development cycle, which still uses LightDM under the hood but is far more attractive and HiDPI aware.

Slick Greeter

Slick Greeter Settings

We worked with our friends at Lubuntu and Ubuntu Budgie to land a configuration utility for Slick Greeter just moments before the final freeze window closed for 18.04.

Slick Greeter Settings



The Ubuntu MATE themes have been uplifted from GTK2 to GTK3 including the addition of a new dark variant of the Ambiant-MATE theme. We've worked tirelessly on all the Ubuntu MATE themes making them fully compatible with GTK 3.22 and ensuring every pixel is placed exactly where it should be. Michael Tunnel from TuxDigital retouched countless art assets for the Ubuntu MATE themes including scaled variants for use on HiDPI displays. The Ubuntu MATE icon theme was given a facelift thanks to our friends at elementary OS and the default mouse pointer cursors use the new upstream MATE theme which is also HiDPI aware. Finally, blink and you'll miss it, the Ubuntu MATE Plymouth theme (boot logo) is now HiDPI aware.


We are no longer shipping mate-backgrounds by default. They have served us well, but are looking a little stale now. We have created a new selection of high quality wallpapers comprised of some abstract designs and high resolution photos from unsplash.com.


We've switched to Noto Sans for users of Japanese, Chinese and Korean fonts and glyphs. MATE Desktop 1.20 supports emoji input, so we've added a colour emoji font too.

You can enter emoji in one of two ways, type Ctrl + Shift + e an e prompt will appear and you can type usual emoji, such as :-), and it will automatically change to a glyph. Alternatively you can right click in the input area and select Insert Emoji that will display the emoji picker below.

Emoji Picker

Major Applications

Accompanying MATE Desktop 1.20.1 and Linux 4.15 are Firefox 59.0.2, VLC 3.0.1, LibreOffice and Thunderbird 52.7.0.

Major Applications

See the Ubuntu 18.04 Release Notes for details of all the changes and improvements that Ubuntu MATE benefits from.

Download Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS

We've even redesigned the download page so it's even easier to get started.


Upgrading from Ubuntu MATE 16.04 or 17.10

  • Open the "Software & Updates" from the Control Center.
  • Select the 3rd Tab called "Updates".
  • Set the "Notify me of a new Ubuntu version" dropdown menu to "Long-term support versions".
  • Press Alt+F2 and type in update-manager into the command box.
  • Update Manager should open up and tell you: New distribution release '18.04' is available.
    • If not you can also use /usr/lib/ubuntu-release-upgrader/check-new-release-gtk
  • Click "Upgrade" and follow the on-screen instructions.

Get the Ubuntu MATE snaps

When the upgrade is complete and you're logged in, open a terminal and execute:

snap install ubuntu-mate-welcome --classic
snap install software-boutique --classic
snap install puilsemixer

The snap packages above are installed when performing a clean install of Ubuntu MATE 18.04, but are not automatically installed when upgrading from an earlier release.

Raspberry Pi images

We're planning on releasing Ubuntu MATE images for the Raspberry Pi around the time 18.04.1 is released, which should be sometime in July. It takes about a month to get the Raspberry Pi images built and tested and we simply didn't have time to do it in time for the April release of 18.04.

Known Issues

Here are the known issues.

Ubuntu MATE

  • Anyone upgrading from Ubuntu MATE 16.04 or 17.10 may need to use MATE Tweak to reset the panel layout to one of the bundled layouts post upgrade.
    • Migrating panel layouts, particularly those without Indicator support, is hit and miss. Mostly miss.
  • Choosing Install Ubuntu MATE from the boot menu on HiDPI displays will not display Indicators in the installer. However, installs will still complete successfully.
    • This issue only affects HiDPI display users and the workaround is to Try Ubuntu MATE without installing and run the installer from the live desktop session.

Ubuntu family issues

This is our known list of bugs that affects all flavours.

You'll also want to check the Ubuntu MATE bug tracker to see what has already been reported. These issues will be addressed in due course.


Is there anything you can help with or want to be involved in? Maybe you just want to discuss your experiences or ask the maintainers some questions. Please come and talk to us.

on April 26, 2018 10:00 PM

Amazon Studios’ CinemaCon presentation teased “Suspiria,” director Luca Guadagnino’s tribute to the namesake ’70s Italian gore-fest. The film stars repeat Guadagnino muses Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton, respectively playing a modern dance student and the sinister headmistress at Europe’s most prestigious dance company. For his version, Guadagnino shifted the action from southern Germany to Berlin.

The post-lunch crowd watched an exclusive and graphic scene (“It’s not for the faint of heart,” said the studio’s head of movie marketing and distribution, Bob Berney). A young woman is in the midst of a violent crying jag, clawing against the mirrored walls of an empty studio. In another studio, Susie Bannion (Johnson) is about to perform an exercise for her class. Madame Blanc (Swinton) tells Susie, “If you feel ill at any time, just stop.”

Read More:Luca Guadagnino Isn’t Remaking ‘Suspiria’: ‘It’s An Homage to the Incredible Emotion I Felt When I Saw It’

Susie begins to dance, but with each twist and turn, the girl in the other room is flung up against the mirrors. A sinewy mass — possibly a creature — stretches out her flank. During Susie’s performance, the other student sustains broken bones, feels her jaw burst through her lip, and soaks the floor with drool and urine. When Susie swipes her wrists across each other, the girl’s legs bend back at unnatural angles. She is in agony, reduced to a knot convulsing on the floor.

“Suspira” teaser poster

Guadagnino and Johnson, CinemaCon’s Female Star of the Year, were in attendance. “You’ll see how how dance, magic, spells, horror, are all intertwined,” promised the director. Johnson has admitted that the “Suspiria” sets — in particular a deserted hotel — sent her to a therapist’s couch. “The location kind of held this energy in itself, and we were all only there,” said Johnson. “It felt like a hospital, like a mental institution.”

For four months, Johnson trained in modern dance. “It’s against what you see in ballet, it’s against gravity,” she said. “It’s aggressive, and it’s not necessarily pretty. It’s hard on the body.” Still, she had nothing but compliments for Guadagnino: “Since meeting Luca, my whole creative world sort of exploded, in my heart and in my brain.”

“Suspiria” features a score by Radiohead singer Thom Yorke, and was scripted by “The Terror” creator David Kajganich, who wrote  “A Bigger Splash” for Guadnagnino, Johnson, and Swinton.

Amazon Studios will release “Suspiria” in theaters this fall.

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on April 26, 2018 09:36 PM tagged with Suspiria

Timothée Chalamet earned his first Oscar nomination this year thanks to his breakout lead performance in “Call Me by Your Name,” and it’s possible the 22-year-old actor will have another nomination under his belt this time next year. Amazon debuted the first footage from its upcoming awards contender “Beautiful Boy” at CinemaCon, and the first reactions from press are overwhelmingly positive.

Read More:‘Beautiful Boy’ First Look: Timothée Chalamet Eyes Another Oscar Nomination as Meth-Addicted Teen

“Beautiful Boy” marks the English-language debut of Belgian director Felix Van Groeningen, best known for “The Broken Circle Breakdown.” The story is adapted two memoirs: David Sheff’s biography “Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction,” recounts watching his son Nick struggle with a methamphetamine addiction; Nick Sheff authored, “Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines.” Steve Carell is playing David in the movie, while Chalamet takes on the role of the troubled son.

Amazon premiered a scene featuring an emotional confrontation between Chalamet and Carell’s characters. After Nick has relapsed many times, they meet in a diner. Withdrawing Nick parrots recovery speak, boasting that he’s five days sober. But he’s slurring his words, and becomes distraught when David refuses him money, sneering that his mother should have gotten custody of him. David offers to put Nick up in a hotel, but Nick bolts from the restaurant, before they place an order.

Steve Carell Amazon Studios Presentation, CinemaCon, Las Vegas, USA - 26 Apr 2018

Steve Carell at
Amazon Studios’ CinemaCon Presentation, where he discussed “Beautiful Boy”

Todd Williamson/January Images/REX/Shutterstock

Press in attendance called the footage “devastating” and “harrowing,” with some saying Chalamet is destined for the awards conversation. Carell was on hand at CinemaCon, while Chalamet appeared briefly via Skype from London. Of the memoirs, Carell said, ” They were both stunning in the sense that — and the movie tries to depict this — there are no easy answers. It’s not presented like the cinematic version of this problem, or this relationship. It felt very true to me, and very real.”

A bad audio connection kept the crowd from hearing Chalamet’s response. “Rest assured that whatever he just said was incredibly articulate,” assured Carell, who called his onscreen son “one of the most profound young people I’ve ever met.”

“Beautiful Boy” opens in select theaters October 12. Check out reactions to the first footage of Chalamet below. IndieWire’s editor-at-large Anne Thompson reacted by saying both Chalamet and Carell are “Oscar-bound.”

Additional reporting by Jenna Marotta. 

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on April 26, 2018 09:22 PM tagged with Timotheé Chalamet
Facebook ads will appear on TV, online, in movie theaters, and on public transit and billboards.
on April 26, 2018 09:17 PM tagged with Business

Some new updates are rolling out to SwiftKey users today, and there are goodies for both beta and stable channels. If you're using the regular app, get ready for more refinements to the toolbar. Plus, a previously released feature is rolling out to more markets. For beta users, it's all (okay, mostly) about the quick settings.

Let's start with the stable build. Here's the changelog.


  • Customize the toolbar by turning features on/off & rearrange them in the order you want.
Read More

Swiftkey updated with toolbar customization, beta gets new quick settings UI was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on April 26, 2018 09:06 PM tagged with Swiftkey
Decoupled Drupal has been an increasingly visible topic at Drupal events and on the web for several years now. But what is the percentage of decoupled Drupal sites out of all Drupal sites?
on April 26, 2018 09:02 PM
Getting started with an incident communications plan

At Statuspage, we believe it’s never too early for a team to start thinking about an incident communications plan. When your first big incident happens is way too late. Unplanned downtime can cause customer churn and unmanageable inbound support volume. Just one hour of unplanned downtime can cost organizations more than $100,000—and often much more—according to the latest annual downtime survey from Information Technology Intelligence Consulting Research.

Some downtime is inevitable, even massive organizations experience outages from time to time. The good news is the harm from downtime can be mitigated by deploying reassuring context and information in a timely fashion. You may hope to never need an incident communications plan but, as any good Site Reliability Engineer (SRE) will tell you, hope is not a strategy.

Mapping out your team’s first incident communications strategy doesn’t have to be overly complex or resource-draining. In fact, you can accomplish it fairly quickly using these four steps:

  • Block off two hours (don’t be surprised if you need even less time) with your core team to brainstorm and document a few simple things outlined in this guide. Involve anyone whose work touches an incident, including your ops and customer support leaders.
  • Use the incident communications planning template to document your strategy.
  • Set a quarterly meeting to review your strategy and make any changes.
  • Review and adjust your strategy each time you have an incident.

Before the Incident

Know what constitutes an incident

Sometimes it’s hard to know what exactly to label as an “incident.” Here’s a set of guidelines Google SREs use, where if any one of the following is true the event is considered an incident:

  • Do you need to involve a second team in fixing the problem?
  • Is the outage visible to customers?
  • Is the issue unsolved even after an hour’s concentrated analysis?

Feel free to adopt these exact guidelines, adjust them, or write your own. “If any one of the following is true” is a good format. (Another helpful resource for mapping incident severity is this Severity Definitions guide from VMware.)

A note on playing it safe: in our experience it’s better to overcommunicate in situations where you’re uncertain. The inconvenience of closing the loop on an expected incident that never took off far outweighs the downside of playing catch up on incident comms hours into an incident.

“I’ll just fix this quickly before anyone notices,” is a slippery slope. You might gamble and win the first time you try that, but play the game enough and eventually you’ll lose.

Team Roles

Define key roles and expectations for incident responders. Clear labels and expectations can prevent a lot of damage in the heat of an incident. While large teams and complex SRE organizations have a web of roles and responsibilities, we see two roles as a good starting point.

Incident commander

The incident commander is in charge of the incident response, making sure everyone is working toward resolution and following through on their tasks. They also are in charge of setting up any communications and documentation channels for the incident. That could be chat rooms, shared pages for documenting the incident, and even physical spaces in the office. This person also drives the post-incident review.


The communicator is in charge of translating the technical information into customer communications and getting those communications out via the right channels. They also monitor incoming customer communications and notify the incident commander if new groups of customers become impacted. After the incident, they ensure the post-mortem gets sent out.

Our recommendation: make it clear from the beginning who has what role in an incident. Even if these people have the bandwidth to help with other areas of the incident, they should respond to these primary objectives first and delegate other tasks where necessary.


With a lean team, any time saved during an incident means a lot. Figuring out the right way to wordsmith an announcement can take up precious time in the heat of an incident.

Decide on boilerplate language ahead of time and save it in a template somewhere. Use it to plug in the relevant details during an incident when you need it.

Here is one incident template we use here for our own status page:

"The site is currently experiencing a higher than normal amount of load, and may be causing pages to be slow or unresponsive. We're investigating the cause and will provide an update as soon as possible.”

This language is very simple and generic, and can be deployed as-is in a lot of cases where this is all we know. We can also amend the language to add more relevant details if we have them. For example:

“The site is currently experiencing a higher than normal amount of load due to an incident with one of our larger customers. This is causing about 50% of pages to be unresponsive. We're investigating the cause and will provide an update as soon as possible.”

You should also define your communications channels during an incident. While we obviously recommend Statuspage, there are a lot of tools you can use: Twitter, email, and company blog, as examples. Just make sure you’re clear where you will be posting messages.

During the incident

Once the incident begins, we recommend these three “golden rules” which are worth keeping in mind during the incident.


It’s important to communicate as soon as there is any sign that the incident is impacting customers. Get a message posted as early as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect. This message serves to reassure users that you’re aware of the issue and actively looking into it. This will also slow down the flood of support tickets and inbound messaging you’re sure to receive during incidents.


When you’re heads-down working on an incident, it can be easy to let regular updates slide. But these long gaps between updates can cause uncertainty and anxiety for your customers. They can start to expect the worst. Even if you’re just updating to say that you’re still investigating the matter, that’s better than no communication. Bonus points if you give an estimate on when next comms will be (and stick to it).

Here’s an example a 2016 HipChat incident.


In your messaging during the incident, be as precise as you can be without guessing or giving non-committal answers.

Instead of:

“We think we know what’s going on but we need more time.”


“We’re still working to verify the root cause.”

Instead of:

“The problem seems to be database related.”


“We’re continuing to investigate the problem.”

At first glance this second example may seem counterintuitive. Why leave out the fact that the issue could be database related? Because you aren’t sure yet. Avoiding hedging words like “we think.” Don’t say you “think” you found the root cause. Either you actually have found the cause or you haven’t.

Once you’ve confirmed the cause, then clearly state as much detail as you’re able to.

For example:

“We’ve identified a corruption with our database related to our last deploy. We are currently rolling back that deploy and monitoring results.”

After the Incident

Some of the biggest opportunities for your team come in the moments after the dust settles from an incident. Your team ideally will run a Post Incident Review session to unpack what happened on the technical side. It’s also a great time to build customer trust by letting them know that you’re taking the incident seriously and taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

An incident post-mortem is meant to be written after the incident and give a big picture update of what happened, how it happened, and what steps the team is taking to ensure it isn’t repeated. Here are our post-mortem rules.


Apologize for the inconvenience, thank customers for their patience, and ensure you’re working on a fix.

Be personal

We see it all the time where teams depersonalize themselves in an effort to seem professional or official. This leads to a cold, distant tone in post-mortems that doesn’t build trust.

Use active voice and “we” pronouns to tell your story. Steer away from words that are overly academic or corporate sounding when simple ones will do.

Instead of:

“Remediation applications on the new load balancer configurations are finalized.”


“We’ve completed the configuration on the new load balancer.”

Details inspire confidence

People have a good sense for when you’re using a lot of words but not really saying anything. Details are the way to keep your post-mortem from sounding like a lot of hot air.

Here’s an example from a post-mortem Facebook engineers posted after a 2010 incident.

Consider this paragraph:

“Today we made a change to the persistent copy of a configuration value that was interpreted as invalid. This meant that every single client saw the invalid value and attempted to fix it. Because the fix involves making a query to a cluster of databases, that cluster was quickly overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of queries a second.”

Likely that’s more technical of an explanation than most readers will need. The ones who want this level of detail will appreciate it. The ones who don’t will at least recognize that you’re going above and beyond to explain what happened. A lot of teams worry about being too technical in their messaging and instead wind up sending watered-down communications. Opt for specific details instead.

Close the loop

The post-mortem is your chance to have the last word in an incident. Leave the reader with a sense of trust and confidence by laying out clearly what you’re doing to keep this from happening again.

Here’s an example from a Twilio post-mortem:

“In the process of resolving the incident, we replaced the original redis cluster that triggered the incident. The incorrect configuration for redis-master was identified and corrected. As a further preventative measure, Redis restarts on redis-master are disabled and future redis-master recoveries will be accomplished by pivoting a slave.

The simultaneous loss of in-flight balance data and the ability to update balances also exposed a critical flaw in our auto-recharge system. It failed dangerously, exposing customer accounts to incorrect charges and suspensions. We are now introducing robust fail-safes, so that if billing balances don’t exist or cannot be written, the system will not suspend accounts or charge credit cards. Finally, we will be updating the billing system to validate against our double-bookkeeping databases in real-time.”

Notice how specific this is with outlining what went wrong and exactly what the team is putting in place to keep the problem from repeating.

Even though users today expect 24/7 services that are always up, people are tolerant of outages. We’ve heard a lot of stories about outages over the years at Statuspage, nobody ever went out of business by being too transparent or communicative during an incident. Consider the kind of information and transparency you’d like to receive from the products and vendors you use, and try to treat your users the way you’d like to be treated.

Looking to go even deeper on incident comms exercises? Check out our recent Team Playbook plays on incident response values and incident response communications.

Blake Thorne is a Product Marketing Manager at Statuspage, which helps teams big and small with incident communications. He can be reached at bthorne@atlassian.com or on Twitter.

on April 26, 2018 09:02 PM tagged with Engineering

Japan’s new self-regulatory body’s first task is to bring in the unregistered exchanges, and dispel anxiety around cryptocurrencies in Japan

Regulation in Japan has taken a long and winding route - the Asian country was the first to recognize Bitcoin as a form of legal tender, but it is also the country where the two biggest hacks in the history of this ecosystem happened; Mt. Gox & Coincheck.

The latter hack, which saw thieves make off with $530 mln in NEM, prompted Japanese regulators to step in and address security concerns at many of the exchanges in the country.

But it is not only the regulators who are reacting to the Coincheck hack. A self-regulatory body has been set up off the backs of the exchanges in order to secure their businesses, as well as to get in line with the tougher regulatory pressures.

This body has had its first press conference on April 23, where it outlined its initial and key areas of concern, areas it will be tackling from the outset. The conference was followed by Cointelegraph.

Nihon Kasotsuka Kokangyo Kyokai

The official name of the body is Nihon Kasotsuka Kokangyo Kyokai (Japan Cryptocurrency Exchange Association) and it currently consists of the 16 exchanges registered with the government’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).

The idea behind this body is for it to set the standards and the expectations of those exchanges that currently are not registered and up to scratch with the FSA. This is because there are still currently a number of exchanges that are operating while still being unregistered.

However, as the crackdown continues, there have been some some exchanges that have decided to shut up shop than bend to the wants of the regulators and prove their security.

The FSA strongly urged cryptocurrency exchanges to establish a unified industry organization and voluntarily work out rules and regulations to create a sound trading environment for customers. This led the the creation of the Japan cryptocurrency exchange association (JCEA).

The 16 in the right

The group that are taking charge of this self-regulatory stance are those that have already been registered with the FSA, some of the more recognisable ones include the following.


Bitbank’s main trading coin is Ripple, which accounts for 75 percent of its volume, followed by Bitcoin, at 14 percent, and Bitcoin Cash at 7 percent. It has a market capitalisation of $180,614,933, or 20,260 BTC. It was founded in May 2014.


Bitflyer primarily operates with Bitcoin, with 98 percent of its $277,779,010 coming from Bitcoin. It was founded in January of 2014.


This exchange only offers Bitcoin trading and has a rather small market cap of $84,399,400, or 9,467 BTC. It was founded in 2014.

Fisco Virtual Currency Exchange (part of Fisco)

This exchange operates mainly with Bitcoin, accounting for 96 percent of volume, but it also allows trade in Mona coin, it’s only other altcoin. It has a market cap of $147,435,081 and was founded in 2016.


Quoine offers many different coins for trade, but primarily sees its volume being made up of Bitcoin, with 88 percent volume coming from that digital currency. Its market cap is $261,973,798 and it was founded in 2014.

Taking charge

Taizen Okuyama, president of Money Partners Co. who assumed the post of chairman, said the goal of the JCEA is to dispel customers’ anxieties and achieve the sound development of the market.

At a press conference held in Tokyo earlier this week, Okuyama said:

“We are preparing self-regulation rules from now on, we want to aim for further development of the industry and generalization of the virtual currency, dispeling anxiety of customers that came about from the case of Choincheck, restoring confidence.”

JBA executive director Yuzo Kano, the vice president of the organization, added:

“The establishment of the association is a meaningful step in the development of the industry and emphasizes that it will develop more speedily and help obtain effective self-regulation.”

"Japan's trend is drawing attention from the world, I would like to work seriously so that it will become a norm for other countries."

Noriyuki Hiromatsu, who is also President of Bitbank, also became Vice chairman and added that he is happy to be cooperating on such a level.

“I am very pleased to be able to unite and cooperate like this, as the industry has not been able to line up very well. I would like to prepare self-regulation early and create an environment that can be used with confidence.”

How it will work

The men at the front of the press conference continued to spell out the inner workings of how the regulatory body would operate. They explained the processes of getting registered, the time frame it would take and how they would handle initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Okuyama explained that the office of the regulatory body is just beginning to be set up, but that they would also be forming an inspection group in order to asses exchanges and their security.

With regard to ICOs, the president explained that the authorities would be judging the coins involved, but the exchange operators will have to make notice when listing new coins, and that registration needs to be accepted by the regulatory body.

Okuyama also explained that there are some exchanges that are not currently part of the regulatory system that are essentially operating in the traditional measures of Japanese law, and he is looking to quickly incorporate them into the self-regulatory system.

Kano also interjected to explain the security measures that are expected from the JCEA in order to get registered.

He said that security is roughly divided between two areas. Firstly, there is that of conventional Internet security, including SSL, firewalls and non-Blockchain related protection. Then there is security unique to the Blockchain. To this end, there needs to be detailed rules and expectations in order to create a security model.

Eventually, Kano wants it to be so clear-cut that a third-party operator would make a call in a certain exchange’s security.

Is this a step in the right direction?

There will be some questioning if this is a good move from Japan, or not. Regulations are such a sticky issue, but this seems to find a middle ground that many can accept.

The battle between governments, banks and the likes, against those vested in the new and unregulated cryptocurrency ecosystem has seen some fierce skirmishes. Those in places like China have been forced out, while those in Australia have struck a balance that works for both parties.

Japan’s move is one that also seems to strike a balance. By having an organization that is run by those involved in cryptocurrencies and that understand the needs of cryptocurrency exchanges, there is room for rules to flourish which do not stifle innovation and growth.

Having a healthy relationship between the FSA in Japan and this new body means that there is communication between the two areas. Security concerns are being addressed, but the rules are not simply being dictated down.

As Kano mentioned in the press conference, the world is indeed watching Japan, and this latest regulatory move could be met with open arms from both sides, across the globe.

on April 26, 2018 09:00 PM tagged with Exchanges

17 mln Bitcoin have now been mined, leaving only 19% to go before the supply cap of 21 mln is reached.

In a round million milestone, 17 mln bitcoins (BTC) have now been mined as of today, April 26, according to data from statoshi.info. Because of Bitcoin’s supply cap of 21 mln, this means that only 4 mln Bitcoin, or about 19 percent, remain to be mined.

The last time the number of Bitcoin mined hit a round million mark was in late November, 2016. Bitcoin’s code dictates that there is a 21 mln coin cap, created as a way to introduce digital scarcity to the cryptocurrency. The protocol is also designed to make the rate that coins are produced slower over time – every 210,000 blocks the network halves the block reward, meaning that the rate of new BTC creation exponentially slows down.

The most recent halving was in July 2016, and since then, miners receive a 12.5 BTC reward for every block that they mine. Assuming the Bitcoin protocol remains the same – following Satoshi’s halving schedule and block validation every 10 minutes on average – the last newly minted Bitcoin will be in 2140.

Scarcity and mining point towards an analogy with precious metals, chief of all gold, to which Bitcoin has long been compared, including in Satoshi Nakamoto’s original Bitcoin white paper.

Just two days ago, VC tycoon and Bitcoin bull Tim Draper declared that not only is Bitcoin “bigger than the internet”, but that “it's bigger than the Iron Age, the Renaissance [and] the Industrial Revolution." Earlier in April, he predicted that Bitcoin would hit an eye-popping $250k per coin within four years.

on April 26, 2018 09:00 PM tagged with Satoshi Nakamoto

Blockchain-based advertising projects could revolutionize digital advertising practices.

Widespread bans of initial coin offering (ICO) and cryptocurrency adverts on major social media platforms and search engines could provide the opportunity for a Blockchain-based advertising service revolution.

In June 2018, Google’s ad service will stop serving any advertising content relating to cryptocurrencies or ICOs. The move has massive ramifications in that all cryptocurrency businesses will be denied access to the biggest advertising platform in the world.

Similar bans from Facebook, Twitter and a number of other mainstream social media platforms has made matters worse, limiting the ability for these businesses to reach a massive base of potential users.

There is a silver lining to these bans, as a group of big companies have been developing Blockchain-based platforms that have the potential to fill the void.

They could also solve long-term problems that have tormented the digital advertising space, namely privacy invasions, bots, inefficiencies in campaign assessments as well as ad-blockers.

Digital advertising - by the numbers

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), digital advertising revenues in the US totalled $40.1 bln in their 2017 half-year internet advertising revenue survey conducted by PwC - with a an estimate of $85 bln in revenue for the full 2017 calendar year.

Just to show how much of a stranglehold Facebook and Google have on the digital advertising space, AdAge cited a report from Pivotal Research that estimated the two giants totalled 73 percent of all US digital advertising revenue in the first half of 2017.


Calls for accurate digital advertising metrics

Of great concern is the return of investment of digital advertising campaigns, and the exposure brands are getting from digital campaigns.

This was highlighted in 2017, as the likes of Procter & Gamble, Bank of America and Unilever called for greater transparency from digital advertising agencies. As reported by AdWeek, these multinational companies threatened to cut billions of dollars of spending if advertising agencies didn’t address issues of fraud and transparency.

According to Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard, a large portion of advertising budgets are wasted due to a number of factors, as quoted by Adweek:

“Frankly, there’s, we believe, at least 20 to 30 percent of waste in the media supply chain because of lack of viewability, non-transparent contracts, non-transparent measurement of inputs, fraud and now even your ads showing up in unsafe places.”

Going on the IAB’s $85 bln forecast of advertising revenue in 2017, up to $17 bln could be wasted by the concerns highlighted by Pritchard.

Considering that Procter & Gamble have a $2.4 bln advertising budget, their concerns about industry practices cannot go unnoticed.

England’s House of Lords Communications Industry has also highlighted these concerns. As Marketing Tech News reports, committee chairman Lord Gilbert of Panteg, said the industry is struggling to deal with a number of dysfunctions.

“The market for delivering digital advertising to consumers is notoriously ‘murky’: businesses which buy advertising services don’t know how their money is being spent, whether their advertising is being displayed next to content which is obscene or which supports terrorism, or whether their ads are being viewed by a human being at all.”

While conventional digital advertising networks look to overhaul their processes, Blockchain technology is being used to answer some of these problems already.

Streamlined, transparent advertising networks

IT giant IBM and online media platform Salon have partnered with Adledger to pilot a Blockchain proof-of-concept called “The Campaign Reconciliation Project” (CRP).

Adledger is a non-profit research consortium developing a variety of Blockchain based solutions for the advertising industry. A number of companies form the consortium, which hopes to solve a number of problems plaguing the industry.

A major concern for the advertising industry is how companies can accurately assess the true value for money out of an advertising campaign, according to a blog post by Automate Ads CEO Andrew Torba on Huffpost.

This is in essence what the CRP will do, by recording data from contractual conditions to publisher payments - all on an immutable, auditable blockchain system.

According to PRWeb, the project addresses “long cycle times, manual reporting and discrepancies that are the norm for today’s reconciliation process across what has become a complex advertising network.”

Of utmost concern is an apparent divide between money spent on campaigns and the value a business receives. Part of the problem is the amount of money that is seemingly wasted through the process of digital advertising

IBM’s global solutions head Chad Andrews wrote a column in which he said that almost half of every dollar spent by advertisers is lost in the digital advertising supply chain. Whether its due to fraud, or costs of intermediary services, advertisers aren’t getting the full bang for their buck.

Salon sees value in the project’s ability to provide auditable data on campaigns published on their website. Ryan Nathanson, Salon Media’s chief operating officer, said the Blockchain platform solves many inefficiencies of current digital advertising networks:

"The shared ledger on the Blockchain will act as a single source of truth creating indisputable transparency for both the brand itself and the publisher, which will aid in greater accuracy during reconciliation as well as make advertiser spend much more efficient."

A ‘brave’ new world

Another big industry player, the Dow Jones Media Group (DJMG), is also exploring the possibilities of a Blockchain-based advertising solution for its content brands.

DJMG have partnered with Brave Software to provide a platform that will serve advertising to websites providing premium content. Brave, which was developed by Javascript creator and former Mozilla CEO Brenden Eich, raised $35 mln in 30 seconds in its ICO launch in June last year.

The agreement would see Brave provide premium content from DJMG to a select few users that download the Brave browser. These content providers will become members of Brave’s Basic Access Token (BAT) platform, which awards users BAT for interacting with advertising served on the browser.

Eich’s Brave platform endeavours to rewrite the status quo of current digital marketing systems:

“We’re trying to reconnect the funding that comes in gross payments after the fact from advertisers and gets chopped down by a bunch of middle players — notably Google — and the remnants are given to publishers,”

Forward thinking

These Blockchain projects address these pressing concerns within the digital advertising space with innovative ideas harnessing all the benefits of distributed ledger technology.

With the ability to write in contractual obligations and parameters, advertisers know where and when their adverts will be published and will be able to track that with the transparency provided by Blockchain technology.

As IBM’s Andrews explains, the success of these projects will depend on various players in the digital advertising industry accepting a new age solution to these pressing concerns:

“With a Blockchain backed peer-to-peer network, achieving transparency in the digital advertising supply chain is possible. But, ensuring its success will require the entire industry, including advertisers, ad tech providers, publishers and agencies to coalesce around a shared, auditable version of truth.”

Unilever is currently developing its own blockchain project to address some of these issues, with the help of marketing service provider IBMiX.

IBMiX global marketing executive partner Babs Rangaiah told that Unilever will start with campaign reconciliation of marketing campaigns - which became blurred due to current supply chains:

“One of the things that happens when you have so many middlemen is discrepancies become rampant. And so you typically can’t reconcile that until the end of a flight, and by then it’s a mess. What Blockchain does is allow you a single, unified view of how that media buy occurred, and there’s one number.”

Given that some many big industry players are calling the advertising industry to clean up its processes, the use of Blockchain technology could well become an important part of this process.

Whether it’s startups, or multinational corporations, the quest for honest, value for money from digital advertising will require a shift in thinking and processes that could be answered by Blockchain technology.

on April 26, 2018 09:00 PM tagged with Mainstream

Sean Durkin is finally returning to independent cinema. The “Martha Marcy May Marlene” director has cast Carrie Coon and Jude Law in his family psychodrama “The Nest,” which marks his first indie film since “Martha Marcy” made him a breakout director in 2011. While Durkin directed four episodes of the television miniseries “Southcliffe,” the upcoming film will be his first feature in eight years. Variety first reported the news.

Read More:‘Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town’ Trailer: Mackenzie Davis Is a Hot Mess in L.A. Comedy Featuring Carrie Coon

“The Nest” is being described as “part psychological thriller, part family drama.” Law plays an entrepreneur named Rory, who brings his American wife and kids to live with him in England so that he can look for new business ventures. The family leaves the American suburbs and move into an isolated house that pushes them a part and “plunges them into the despair of an archaic ’80s Britain.”

The movie gives Coon one of her biggest lead roles in a film to date. The Emmy-nominated star of “Fargo” and “The Leftovers” has appeared in supporting turns in “Gone Girl,” “Strange Weather,” and “The Post.” Coon’s 2018 film roles include Steve McQueen’s “Widows” and a voice role as Proxima Midnight in “Avengers: Infinity War.” Law, meanwhile, has numerous projects lined up, including “Captain Marvel” and the Blake Lively thriller “The Rhythm Section.” He takes on the role of young Dumbledore in November’s “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.”

Although Durkin has not been in the director’s chair on a film in quite some time, he’s been an active executive producer on films made by his Borderline partners. Most recently, Durkin executive produced “James White,” “The Eyes of My Mother,” “Christine,” “Katie Says Goodbye,” and recent Sundance premiere “Piercing.”

“The Nest” is financed by FilmNation Entertainment and BBC Films. FilmNation is handling international sales at next month’s Cannes Film Festival. UTA is handling U.S. sales.

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on April 26, 2018 08:41 PM tagged with Sean Durkin

Joaquin Phoenix has already had one incredible performance hit the big screen this year thanks to Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here,” and the actor is set to dazzle us again in Gus Van Sant’s “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.” The film marks the first time Phoenix and Van Sant have worked together since 1995’s “To Die For.”

Read More:Joaquin Phoenix’s ‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot’ Casting Slammed as Offensive by Ruderman Disability Foundation

“Don’t Worry” is based on John Callahan’s memoir of the same name. Phoenix plays the controversial cartoonist as he struggles with alcoholism and recovers from a car accident that leaves him paralyzed from the waist down. The supporting cast includes Rooney Mara, Jonah Hill, and Jack Black.

Van Sant debuted the drama at Sundance earlier this year, where Phoenix instantly became an early contender for the Oscars. The actor gives a transformative performance in the lead role, but it’s really Jonah Hill who walks away with the film. Hill plays Phoenix’s A.A. sponsor Donnie, and it’s a perfectly calibrated supporting performance, one that makes a lasting impression and leaves you wanting to know more about the character.

“Don’t Worry” opens in theaters July 13. Watch the official trailer below.

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on April 26, 2018 08:07 PM tagged with Jonah Hill

Today we’re sharing the public preview of per disk metrics for all Managed & Unmanaged Disks. This enables you to closely monitor and make the right disk selection to suit your application usage pattern. You can also use it to create alerts, diagnosis, and build automation.

Prior to this, you could get the aggregate metrics for all the disks attached to the virtual machine (VM), which provided limited insights into the performance characteristics of your application, especially if your workload is not evenly distributed across all attached disks. With this release, it is now very easy to drill down to a specific disk and figure out the performance characteristics of your workload.

Here are the new metrics that we're enabling with today's preview:

  • OS Disk Read Operations/Sec
  • OS Disk Write Operations/Sec
  • OS Disk Read Bytes/sec
  • OS Disk Write Bytes/sec
  • OS Disk QD
  • Data Disk Read Operations/Sec
  • Data Disk Write Operations/Sec
  • Data Disk Read Bytes/sec
  • Data Disk Write Bytes/sec
  • Data Disk QD

The following GIF shows how easy it is to build a metric dashboard for a specific disk in the Azure portal.


Additionally, because of Azure Monitor integration with Grafana, it’s very easy to build a Grafana dashboard with these metrics. Here’s a GIF that shows a Grafana dashboard setup with metrics from a VM with 1 OS disk and 3 data disks.


Azure CLI

With Azure CLI it’s very easy to get the metric values programmatically. First, we need to get the list of metric definitions for a particular resource

➜  ~ az monitor metrics list-definitions --resource /subscriptions/<sub-id>/resourceGroups/metric-rg/providers/Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/metric-md

Display Name                    Metric Name                       Unit            Type     Dimension Required    Dimensions
------------------------------  --------------------------------  --------------  -------  --------------------  ------------
Percentage CPU                  Percentage CPU                    Percent         Average  False
Network In                      Network In                        Bytes           Total    False
Network Out                     Network Out                       Bytes           Total    False
Disk Read Bytes                 Disk Read Bytes                   Bytes           Total    False
Disk Write Bytes                Disk Write Bytes                  Bytes           Total    False
Disk Read Operations/Sec        Disk Read Operations/Sec          CountPerSecond  Average  False
Disk Write Operations/Sec       Disk Write Operations/Sec         CountPerSecond  Average  False
CPU Credits Remaining           CPU Credits Remaining             Count           Average  False
CPU Credits Consumed            CPU Credits Consumed              Count           Average  False
Data Disk Read Bytes/Sec        Per Disk Read Bytes/sec           CountPerSecond  Average  False                 SlotId
Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec       Per Disk Write Bytes/sec          CountPerSecond  Average  False                 SlotId
Data Disk Read Operations/Sec   Per Disk Read Operations/Sec      CountPerSecond  Average  False                 SlotId
Data Disk Write Operations/Sec  Per Disk Write Operations/Sec     CountPerSecond  Average  False                 SlotId
Data Disk QD                    Per Disk QD                       Count           Average  False                 SlotId
OS Disk Read Bytes/Sec          OS Per Disk Read Bytes/sec        CountPerSecond  Average  False
OS Disk Write Bytes/Sec         OS Per Disk Write Bytes/sec       CountPerSecond  Average  False
OS Disk Read Operations/Sec     OS Per Disk Read Operations/Sec   CountPerSecond  Average  False
OS Disk Write Operations/Sec    OS Per Disk Write Operations/Sec  CountPerSecond  Average  False
OS Disk QD                      OS Per Disk QD                    Count           Average  False

Once, we have a list of metrics, we can get the values for a specific metric, for example Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec in this case.

➜ ~ az monitor metrics list --resource /subscriptions/<sub-id>/resourceGroups/metric-rg/providers/Microsoft.Compute/virtualMachines/metric-md --metric 'Per Disk Write Bytes/Sec' --aggregation Maximum --filter "SlotId eq '1'" --interval PT1M --start-time 2018-04-02T21:35:09Z --end-time 2018-04-03T00:49:09Z

Timestamp            Name                         Slotid      Maximum
-------------------  -------------------------  --------  -----------
2018-04-02 21:35:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1
2018-04-02 21:36:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1
2018-04-02 21:37:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1
2018-04-02 21:38:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1
2018-04-02 21:39:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1
2018-04-02 21:40:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1
2018-04-02 21:41:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1
2018-04-02 21:42:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1
2018-04-02 21:43:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1
2018-04-02 21:44:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1
2018-04-02 21:45:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1
2018-04-02 21:46:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1
2018-04-02 21:47:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1  1.01974e+08
2018-04-02 21:48:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1  1.02015e+08
2018-04-02 21:49:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1  1.02041e+08
2018-04-02 21:50:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1  1.01976e+08
2018-04-02 21:51:00  Data Disk Write Bytes/Sec         1  6.37246e+07
on April 26, 2018 08:03 PM tagged with Virtual Machines

Hi-Rez Studios is best known for their console and PC games. Most notably their 3rd-person MOBA Smite is one of their biggest successes, though many may have the opinion it has seen better days. It would appear that Hi-Rez is no longer satisfied with the console and PC market, as they are now branching out into mobile gaming with the release of Paladins Strike. If the name sounds familiar, that is because they already have a hero shooter available for consoles and PC called Paladins: Champions of the Realm. This release simply takes the characters and lore from that title to create an offshoot game that is better suited for for play on mobile.

Read More

Hi-Rez Studios' mobile MOBA 'Paladins Strike' is available worldwide was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on April 26, 2018 08:00 PM tagged with video

A first peek at “Widows” — the new heist film “Gone Girl” author Gillian Flynn wrote with Oscar-winner Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) — intrigued CinemaCon spectators. Also directed and produced by McQueen, the script follows a quartet of grieving, debt-strapped wives (Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, and Michelle Rodriguez), intent on pulling off the robbery that killed their thieving husbands (led by Liam Neeson as Davis’ other half). Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell, and Lukas Haas co-star, with Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”) and Brian Tyree Henry playing debt collectors so persistent they crash the dead mens’ funerals.

The Obama-era trailer opened with a person dressed in black (including a plastic mask), tapping a gun barrel on a cop’s door. Loving moments between each couple followed, spliced with high-speed car chases and shots of money wads being stuffed into duffle bags. Soon each widow is wracked with despair; Davis’s character is seen letting out a wail and placing a rose on her husband’s casket. By the end of the clip, she’s the one behind the mask, holding the gun, breathing loudly.

Read More:Viola Davis Set to Steal the Show in Steve McQueen’s Heist Thriller ‘Widows’

Reshoots wrapped in Chicago earlier this month. McQueen’s fellow producers include Iain Canning and Emile Sherman of 2011’s Best Picture Oscar winner “The King’s Speech.”

20th Century Fox will release “Widows” on November 16. 

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on April 26, 2018 07:35 PM tagged with Widows

Leave No Trace” premiered at Sundance and will next screen at Cannes, which means the movie gods have deemed this the perfect time for a trailer. “Winter’s Bone” director Debra Granik directed the film, starring Ben Foster and Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie as a father and daughter living in the wilds of Oregon. Avail yourself of the trailer below.

Read More:‘Leave No Trace’ Is A Rock-Solid Coming-of-Age Story from ‘Winter’s Bone’ Director Debra Granik — Sundance 2018 Review

Here’s a brief synopsis: “Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland.” The trailer shows a glimpse of dather and daughter’s off-the-grid living, which is reminiscent of Viggo Mortensen’s journey in “Captain Fantastic.”

Read More:Cannes: Nicolas Cage’s ‘Mandy’ and Gaspar Noe’s ‘Climax’ Lead 2018 Directors’ Fortnight Lineup

Jeff Kober and Dale Dickey co-star in the film, Granik’s follow-up to the documentary “Stray Dog.” Bleecker Street will release “Leave No Trace” in theaters on June 29.

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on April 26, 2018 07:32 PM tagged with Trailers

Email remains the linchpin of online communication, and while we heavily rely on everything from instant messaging to video chat in order to stay in touch with the people we need to in our lives, we always find ourselves turning back to tried-and-true email. Of course, even for something so utilitarian as email, there are still a million companies putting their own spin on it, and for so many Android users around the globe, Gmail is their email service of choice.

Read More

Gmail wish list: 10 features we (still) want was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on April 26, 2018 07:32 PM tagged with wish list

This winter, 20th Century Fox’s Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” became a calamity. Director Bryan Singer reportedly clashed with star Rami Malek, halting production by going MIA from the London set after Thanksgiving. Singer’s firing was announced December 5, two days before he was hit with his latest sexual assault lawsuit, from a man who claims he was victimized as a teen.

Yet replacement director Dexter Fletcher (“Eddie the Eagle”) must have restored the studio’s faith: The film’s Christmas 2018 release date was moved up seven weeks, and the musical was a showpiece of its Las Vegas CinemaCon presentation. However, not only was there no mention of Singer, Fox also ignored Fletcher — staying silent on the film’s director at all, much less who will receive final credit.

Nevertheless, Fox is so confident in the finished product that, in a tribute to its 83-year-history, it included a shot of Malek in character alongside Henry Fonda in “The Grapes of Wrath, Robert Redford and Paul Newman in “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid,” and Kate Winslet in“Titanic.” And the National Association of Theatre Owners returned to Caesars Palace after the presentation, Queen’s “We Are the Champions” provided exit music at full volume.

Read More:Fox Fired Bryan Singer, but It Won’t Be Able to Remove Him as the Director of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

“Bohemian Rhapsody” tracks the rise of the Mercury-fronted Queen during the ’70s and ’80s, culminating in their set at Live Aid, voted first in a BBC News poll of the greatest live performances of all time. The footage showed Malek transformed — fake teeth, Spandex jumpsuits, and all — into a glam-rock god.

In the the young Mercury catches a show, compliments the band, learns they need a lead singer, and volunteers himself. When the new outfit can’t get their songs on the radio, they get experimental and start utilizing everything from percussive toilet paper rolls to Mercury’s falsetto.

When a record executive laments the length of a submitted track, Mercury scoffs, “I pity your wife if you think six minutes is forever.” Somewhere, between Mercury’s bedroom daydreams and a cat that skitters across piano keys, the band finds their audience, and with it the excesses of fame. Friends warn Mercury that he needs to curb his breakneck lifestyle, and he implies that he knows he’s not long for this world. Six years after Live Aid, Mercury succumbed to HIV/AIDS at age 45.

Rami Malek20th Century Fox presentation, CinemaCon, Las Vegas, USA - 26 Apr 2018

Rami Malek at CinemaCon

Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock

Producer Graham King was emotional when introducing Malek and the film, saying, “This has been the best part of 10 years in the making.”

Added Malek, “When I got this role, I thought, ‘Oh my God, this could be a career-defining performance.’ And about two minutes later, I thought, ‘This could be a career killer.'” Malek, best known to audiences for his Emmy-lauded work on USA Network’s “Mr. Robot,” Malek said Mercury was “the greatest performer that has existed.”

He continued, “As an actor, you look at the humanity of someone, the struggles that he overcame throughout his life. Throughout the course of the film, you’ll learn so much about him that gives the way he sings the music and plays that music — it fills it with pain and beauty.”

Producers include two-time Oscar-winner Robert De Niro, and Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May (who told Malek his portrayal brought him to tears). No mention was made of the film’s director shuffle, or who will receive the final credit.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” lands in theaters November 2.

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on April 26, 2018 07:20 PM tagged with Rami Malek

So you need some more storage in your phone? Well, you're in luck as long as you've got a microSD card slot. The 200GB SanDisk card is on sale today for a mere $56. That's the cheapest we've seen it since the last Black Friday sale.

This is a microSD card, and you should be pretty familiar with those by now. I won't bore you with details except to say it has transfer speeds as high as 100MB/s and supports the A1 standard for running apps.

Read More

[Deal Alert] SanDisk 200GB microSD card drops to $55.99 on Amazon was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on April 26, 2018 07:18 PM tagged with storage
A new search tool on Pinterest aims to surface more content showing people of all skin tones when you search for beauty tips and products.
on April 26, 2018 07:04 PM tagged with Gear
Some small animals can produce bullet-like accelerations—could robots do it, too?
on April 26, 2018 07:04 PM tagged with Science

Special thanks to Robert Venable, Principal Software Engineer in the Finance Engineering team of Core Services Engineering (formerly Microsoft IT) for sharing their story of enabling development teams while ensuring security and compliance. Thanks also to Scott Hoag, Principal Cloud Solutions Architect at Opsgility and Rob Dendtler, Account Technology Strategist at Microsoft for reviewing and providing invaluable feedback.

One of the common questions members of the Core Services Engineering and Operations teams frequently get when speaking to customers at the Executive Briefing Center here in Redmond is how do our engineering teams secure our Azure footprint for our Line of Business applications while still giving developers the freedom to go fast, have visibility into our environment and use the capabilities of Visual Studio Team Services for CI/CD, Release, and much more.

At the core of this answer is how we use the combination of subscriptions, resource groups, and Role Based Access Control to ensure compliance with a set of guidelines.

Let's start at the top level: Azure Subscriptions. CSEO, as you can imagine has a lot of Line of Business applications, currently over a thousand. We loosely follow the business unit pattern from the Azure enterprise scaffold - prescriptive subscription governance article.

business oriented subscription design

The business unit pattern

In particular, many of our teams have adopted a common mapping of the above pattern to enterprise/federal/state/local. This common vocabulary provides practical constructs that everyone understands and can relate to, ensuring we're on the same page.

What does this translation look like in reality with examples for subscription organization? It looks like this from the top down:

  • Enterprise - This stays the same as Enterprise in the Azure scaffold for us. Enterprise level items are common concerns across the entire company – it might be ensuring we don't count internal Azure consumption as public revenue, or how secure we are across all Azure subscriptions in our tenants, or other high-level strategic objectives that we care about regardless of level. Another way to think of this might be how Microsoft reports our global quarterly earnings – it's across the entire company.
  • Federal - Our major departments are named Federal. For example, CSEO is one of the federal groups. At this level, we may have additional policies and procedures, automation that runs against our footprint, or other things specific to that department. Typically, this is where large budgets have roll-up views, etc.
  • State - A group of services or a service offerings that are related. For example, the Tax Service Offering within the Finance IT organization. Here you may have additional policies and procedures, for example, HIPAA, PCI, SOX controls, and procedures. A state has a group of services that are related.
  • Local – This is where a subscription lives and is associated with a service. Each subscription contains multiple applications that are related to delivering the set of functionalities that make up the service. Each application is typically contained in an explicit resource group. The resource group becomes the container for that application, which is part of the service (the subscription). There may sometimes be a shared or common application in the service. At the application/resource group level is where the team of application developers live and they’re accountable for their footprint in Azure from security to optimal Azure spend in everything they do. A great development team operating at this level solves most of the concerns and roll-up reporting questions that are typically asked from higher levels. If each development team looks at the Azure Security Center blade, pinned dashboards built from Azure Log analytics, and the Azure Advisor blades on a daily basis, you wouldn’t have division-wide efforts created to reduce spend or bring up patch compliance, etc.

This hierarchical construct allows the differing level of controls and policies while allowing the developers to go fast. Below is a typical subscription configuration:


An example CSEO Subscription for the Tax Service

Within the resource groups above, the typical components you would see in each of the production resource groups (applications) would be the Azure components used to build that specific service such as:

  • Azure HDInsight cluster
  • Storage Accounts
  • SQL Database
  • Log Analytics
  • Application Insights
  • Etc., etc.

Each resource group has the components specific to that application. On occasion, the subscription might have a Common or Shared Services resource group. These are items that are used across the applications in the service, for example:

  • Common Log Analytics workspace
  • Common Blob Storage accounts where files are dumped for processing by the other services
  • An ExpressRoute VNet

In our CSEO Tax Service there are multiple applications, each in their own resource groups such as the data warehouse, ask tax (the help web portal and some bots), a calculation engine, an archiving application, a reporting application and more.

Within the subscription and resource groups, we use least privilege access principles to ensure that only the people that need to do the work have access to resources. Therefore, only the engineering owners of the service are the owners of the subscription. No contributors exist on the subscription. Some specific identities are added to the reader role, these are typically accounts used by automated tooling.

Each resource group has only the identities necessary added with the minimum required permissions. We try to avoid creating custom roles, which over the passage of time and with scale create management headaches.

Within the resource groups, the owner and reader roles are inherited from the subscription. The VSTS Build Account identity is added in as a contributor to the resource group for automated deployments. This means that only the service owner and the build identities can touch the production service on a continuous basis.

In the pre-production resource group, the engineering team is added to the reader role. This still means that only the service owner and build accounts can touch pre-production on a continuous basis, but the engineering team can see what's going on in the resource group. If a developer needs to do some work for testing, they can’t go putting that in the pre-prod or prod environment.

There are some variations on this but they’re not common. For instance, some teams might want someone from the security as the sub owner, and some teams even remove people from the equation and use a form of service account as the sub owner. Some teams might give engineers contributor on pre-prod if they’re not fully mature on the automation required. It all depends on the needs of the team.

So now that we have these together, what does it mean for typical roles in the organization?

Developers have access to the pre-production resource group to see what's going on in the dev/pre-production/uat/whatever-you-want-to-call-non-production-in-your-company but must get used to using telemetry mechanisms in the platform for debugging, just like they would have to do in production. While the teams are maturing to this level, you may see developers with contributor level access at the pre-production resource groups. The result of this discipline is typically much richer Application Insights portals and Azure Log Analytics dashboards. As teams mature they switch to deploying from a CI/CD system like Visual Studio Team Services that uses Microsoft Release Management and get really good at creating build and release definitions. Developers also script out and automate operational concerns like key rotation.

Security & Operations have access via identities with Just-in-Time VM Access through Azure Security Center for IaaS and Privileged Identity Management through Azure AD. Some operations teams might use automated tools to interrogate our Azure subscription footprint looking for configurations to reduce risk, for example looking for a resource group containing a public internet endpoint (PiP) and an ExpressRoute circuit that might pose a security risk. These teams use those audit account identities added at the subscription level.

Another thing that this model implicitly drives is the shift of accountability from any Central IT team to the development team. This does not mean shift of concerns as security and operations teams still care about compliance and risk. But if the local development team makes part of their daily standup looking at billing, security center, and the Azure Advisor tools, then cost optimization, security compliance and concerns that are inevitably asked from the enterprise, federal and state layers will already be optimized.

Do you have a question to ask the engineers of Core Services Engineering? You can reach Lyle Dodge on Twitter at @lyledodge and our team will work on the answer to your question in a future article here, or on the IT Showcase site.

on April 26, 2018 07:03 PM tagged with Cloud Strategy

Revolut raises $250 mln in latest fundraising round, led by Hong-Kong based VC firm DST Global – startup now valued at $1.7 bln

U.K.-based alternative banking app Revolut reported today, April 26, that they have raised $250 mln in a Series C investment round, giving them an overall $1.7 bln valuation and thus making them a “unicorn” – a startup with over a $1 bln valuation.

In December of last year, the Revolut app added an option to transact in crypto, supporting Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), and Ethereum (ETH), on top of the 25 fiat currencies available. Their blog post today writes that they will also be adding Ripple (XRP) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

Hong Kong-based venture capital company DST Global led the funding round, along with investors Index Ventures and Ribbit Capital.

Revolut’s blog post also notes that they will be adding the new features of “Revolut Platinum,” which is a banking card, and “Revolut Wealth,” which will let users invest in stocks, indices, and exchange traded funds (ETFs). Revolut also announced that it will expand to the United States, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand this year.

The crypto community’s go-to messenger app Telegram recently raised a combined $1.7 bln during two separate closed Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) held this year to fund the development of the app and its own Blockchain platform.

Last week, US-based stablecoin project Basis raised $133 mln in funding from big name VC investors.

on April 26, 2018 07:00 PM tagged with Investments
The culmination of 10 years and 18 movies is something that's virtually impossible to repeat.
on April 26, 2018 06:37 PM tagged with Culture

20th Century Fox has being keeping Shane Black’s “The Predator” under lock and key. For a studio tentpole and franchise sequel that’s set for release in almost four months, it’s a bit unusual and extremely enticing that the studio has yet to make any footage or movie stills available to the public. Fortunately, Fox pulled back the curtain on “The Predator” during its CinemaCon presentation.

Read More:‘Halloween’ Footage Terrifies CinemaCon, Confirms New Details About Laurie Strode and Michael Myers’ Showdown

“The Predator” is set in between 1990’s “Predator 2” and 2010’s “Predators.” The alien creatures have managed to upgrade themselves with the DNA from other species, making them stronger, smarter, and deadlier than predators we’ve seen before. The story kicks in when a young boy (Jacob Tremblay) accidentally triggers the predators return to Earth. A ragtag crew of soldiers and scientists, played by Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Keegan-Michael Key, and Trevante Rhodes, are tasked with saving the human race.

The presentation included the first trailer for the film, which press called “badass” and full of “blood and guns.” The footage begins with Tremblay’s young boy on Halloween playing with a toy box that has a toy alien ship inside of it. It turns out the toy is controlling a real alien spaceship, similar to the way Anne Hathaway controlled a monster in “Colossal.” The vessel ends up crash landing on Earth and releasing tons of Predators.

The trailer cuts to an interrogation room featuring Boyd Holbrook, who is playing a military sniper. It turns out Holbrook is the father of the boy we saw earlier. Footage of soldiers battling Predators and a Predator violently holding one by the neck cut through Holbrook’s integration narration. Olivia Munn’s scientist makes a big impression during the trailer. Her character is seen expertly handling a gun. When Sterling K. Brown’s character asks, “You’re pretty handy with a gun, where’d you learn?” Munn replies: “America.”

“The Predator” opens nationwide September 14. Check out first reactions to the footage below.

Additional reporting by Jenna Marotta.

on April 26, 2018 06:25 PM tagged with The Predator

We are happy to announce that HDInsight Tools for VSCode now supports argparse and accepts parameter based Pyspark Job submission. We also enabled the tools to support Spark 2.2 for PySpark author and job submission.

The argparse feature grants you great flexibility for your PySpark code author, test and job submission for both batch and interactive query. You can fully enjoy the advantage of PySpark argparse, and simply keep your configuration and your job-related arguments in the Json based configuration file.

The Spark 2.2 update allows you to benefit the new functionalities and to consume the new libraries and APIs from Spark 2.2 in VSCode. You can create, author and submit a Spark 2.2 PySpark job to Spark 2.2 cluster. With the backward compatibility of Spark 2.2, you can also submit your existing Spark 2.0 and Spark 2.1 PySpark scripts to a Spark 2.2 cluster.

Summary of key new features

Argparse support – set up your arguments in Json format.

  1. Set up configurations: Go to command palate, choose command HDInsight: Set Configuration.


2. Set up the parameters in the xxx_hdi_settings.json file, including script to cluster, Livy configuration, Spark configuration, etc.



Spark 2.2 Support – Submit PySpark batch and interactive query to Spark 2.2 cluster.



How to install or update

First, install Visual Studio Code and download Mono 4.2.x (for Linux and Mac). Then get the latest HDInsight Tools by going to the VSCode Extension repository or the VSCode Marketplace and searching HDInsight Tools for VSCode.


For more information about HDInsight Tools for VSCode, please use the following resources:

Learn more about today’s announcements on the Azure blog and Big Data blog. Discover more on the Azure service updates page.

If you have questions, feedback, comments, or bug reports, please use the comments below or send a note to hdivstool@microsoft.com.

on April 26, 2018 06:04 PM tagged with Developer

Bill Cosby has been found guilty on all three counts in his retrial for sexual assault. The actor and comedian has been accused of rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, and other offenses by more than 60 women, with some of the allegations going back several decades; he has repeatedly denied the accusations against him. The charges in this trial, which was brought by Andrea Constand, were penetration with lack of consent, penetration while unconscious, and penetration after administering an intoxicant.

Read More:Bill Cosby Mistrial: Lena Dunham, Kumail Nanjiani and Others React

Cosby’s previous case ended in a mistrial on June 17 of last year, as the jurors were deadlocked. Now 80 years old and facing a maximum sentence of 30 years — 10 years for each charge — he may spend the rest of his life in prison.

Read More:Kanye West Explains Why His ‘Famous’ Video Features Naked Bill Cosby, Caitlyn Jenner & More Celebs

Cosby is best known for producing and starring in “The Cosby Show,” a highly successful sitcom that ran from 1984 to 1992 and was the highest-rated show in the country for five years.

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on April 26, 2018 06:02 PM tagged with Bill Cosby

NBC just revealed that this year’s Emmys will be hosted by Colin Jost and Michael Che, which elicited a lot of eye-rolling amongst those who had forgotten Lorne Michaels would be producing this year’s ceremony — and that these shows have a tradition of being hosted by talent native to the network.

There is definitely one upside to the news: The last time a person of color hosted the Emmys was 1996, when Oprah Winfrey hosted with Michael J. Fox and Paul Reiser (the ’90s!). That is far too long a gap, and correcting it here with Che is a good move.

But the last time any major awards show — the Oscars, Emmys, or Golden Globes — was hosted by a woman was 2015, when Tina Fey and Amy Poehler dropped the mic at the Globes. And the last time the Emmys was MC’ed by a woman was 2011, when Jane Lynch was trusted to host by herself. As it should go without saying, at a point in our culture when women are just starting to be heard more, any opportunity to amplify a female voice is welcome.

Read More:‘Avengers’ TV Takeover: While Marvel Movies Get Little Awards Love, Their Acting Stable Rules the Emmys

On “Saturday Night Live,” Che and Jost have settled into a decent rhythm as both head writers and the anchors of Weekend Update, though it certainly wasn’t an easy transition. But if NBC and Michaels wanted to boost its “SNL” talent, then why not consider some of the brilliant women on the show, such as Kate McKinnon or Leslie Jones?

McKinnon’s hosting credentials are bonafide — just check out her opening monologue with Kumail Nanjiani at the 2016 Indie Spirit Awards.

And beyond “SNL,” NBC has plenty of great talent, as Vanity Fair’s Hillary Busis noted:

All this, plus the fact that Che has a history of making jokes about women and then not handling it well when he receives criticism could be cause for alarm about what’s to come this September (both the actual show, and the fallout from it). It’s unlikely that he’ll sing about having seen the boobs of nominees, but only because it’s not clear whether or not Che can sing.

While not as massive as last year’s election-fueled numbers, “SNL’s” ratings have been strong lately, and Jost and Che represent fresher faces than NBC’s other obvious options (Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon hosted the last two times NBC aired the Emmys broadcast, and were also just seen hosting the Golden Globes in 2017 and 2018). So they’re not the worst choice NBC could make. But they’re certainly not exciting, especially when you consider the other options available, and they certainly won’t do much for the general state of flagging awards show ratings.

Who knows? This could be an amazing show (especially if they do the right thing and make sure that John Mulaney’s available for jokes). But the second we see Jost in a handmaid’s bonnet, we’ll know all hope is lost.

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on April 26, 2018 05:52 PM tagged with Michael Che

“Everyone hates moral philosophers,” Chidi, a former ethics teacher, says on “The Good Place.”

This sentiment may have been true a few years ago, but that was before the NBC comedy made philosophy the driving engine for its compelling storytelling.

Bringing a proper discussion of philosophy to a medium meant to entertain might seem like a daunting prospect, but shows like “The Good Place,” “Atlanta,” “Legion,” and “A.P. Bio” have incorporated these discussions in an organic way. And because so many of those shows are comedies, it’s made philosophy much more accessible to audiences who might otherwise never consider the subject. It’s given a new dimension to shows that are challenging their audiences to engage even more with the material.

Navel-gazing hasn’t always been so popular, though, mainly because of its perception as stuffy or difficult to understand. Clemson University’s Todd May, who consults for “The Good Place,” told IndieWire that incorporating philosophy on TV can be tricky because people often mistake what it really is.

Read More:‘The Good Place’: Its Latest Finale Twist Reinvented the Show Again and Set Itself Up Perfectly for the Future

“Philosophy often falls prey to one of two misconceptions,” he said. “The first one is that it’s just anybody’s opinion about things. This isn’t true. Philosophy requires meticulous and often difficult reflection on questions that are important but elusive, such as how we should act toward one another or whether there can be meaningfulness to life.

“The other misconception is that it is a realm so divorced from our existence that it has no relevance to people’s lives,” he continued. “Unfortunately, professional philosophers often contribute to that misconception by resorting to needless jargon in their writings. There are certainly issues in philosophy that require a technical analysis, but there are fewer of them than many philosophers seem to think.”

As TV embraces more complex storytelling, philosophical teachings have become much more commonplace — or at least we as viewers have become more attuned to them. Either way, today’s most engaging shows Kant seem to help throwing in some deep thoughts at their receptive audiences. Here are a few recent notable examples.

”Atlanta” Questions Reality

Working philosophy in may not be as difficult as it may seem if the TV show has a certain flexibility in storytelling. Donald Glover’s FX series “Atlanta” explores dimensions of the human condition, specifically those in relation to being black, living in Atlanta, and seeking fame in the age of social media. This has sometimes led to a number of bizarre incidents or elements that feel off-center from our reality.

In the recent episode “Champagne Papi,” Van (Zazie Beets) wants to take a selfie with Drake at his party, but realizes that the photos everyone had posted on Instagram were fake and were taken with a Drake cardboard cutout. At the same party, Darius (Lakeith Stanfield) discusses Bostrom’s simulation argument, which states that everything we experience is a simulation made by technologically advanced humans.

Ibra Ake, who wrote the episode, was inspired to include that conversation after hearing Stanfield and Beetz discussing the hypothesis in a video diary. “It just fit in with the whole episode, as far as creating a reality and the things being a simulation,” Ake said. “And the internet feels like a very complex world that kind of exists, and it’s hard to explain but it’s very real. It seemed like a parallel point to Instagram and life and all of that.”

on April 26, 2018 05:48 PM tagged with The Good Place

You know Google I/O is right around the corner when the official app gets a fresh coat of paint. Yes, today is the day. You can download the new Google I/O app right now and begin reserving seats and adding events to your schedule. It also looks pretty different.

The changelog is what you'd expect for a new I/O update. It could be used to describe any update of this particular app.

Read More

Google updates I/O app for 2018 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

on April 26, 2018 05:37 PM tagged with io2018

In our previous blog post, we gave a brief intro to some terms that we believe are necessary to understand the basics of Drupal.   Here we have what we believe to be the next round of terms that we consider necessary to understanding those basics. Recently, we had the opportunity to assist Matrix AMC in migrating from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8.  They were unable to use their website because of the version of Drupal that their website was hosted on was out of date and no longer supported by the Drupal community. While these specific terms are consistent across Drupal versions, they are crucial to understanding the importance of being up to date in with your version of Drupal.      


  1. Blockthe boxes visible in the regions of a Drupal website.
    1. Most blocks (e.g. recent forum topics) are generated on-the-fly by various Drupal modules, but they can be created in the administer blocks area of a Drupal site.
  2. Region-  defined areas of a page where content can be placed. Different themes can define different regions so the options are often different per-site. Basic regions include:
    1. Header
    2. Footer
    3. Content
    4. Left sidebar
    5. Right Sidebar
  3. Roles- a name for a group of users, to whom you can collectively assign permissions. There are two predefined, locked roles for every new Drupal installation:
    1. Authenticated User- anyone with an account on the site.
    2. Anonymous User- those who haven’t yet created accounts or are not logged in.
  4. WYSIWYG- What You See Is What You Get; An acronym used in computing to describe a method in which content is edited and formatted by interacting with an interface that closely resembles the final product.
  5. Book- a set of pages tied together in a hierarchical sequence, perhaps with chapters, sections, or subsections.  Books can be used for manuals, site resource guides, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), etc.
  6. Breadcrumbs- the set of links, usually near the top of the page, that shows the path you followed to locate the current page.
    1. The term breadcrumbs is borrowed from Hansel and Gretel, who left crumbs of bread along their path so they could find their way back out of the forest.
  7. Form mode- this is a way to customize the layout of an entity’s edit form.
  8. Multisite- a feature of Drupal that allows one to run multiple web sites from the same Drupal codebase.
  9. Patch- a small piece of software designed to update or fix problems with a computer program or its supporting data.
    1. This includes fixing bugs, replacing graphics and improving the usability or performance.
  10. User- the user interacting with Drupal. This user is either anonymous or logged into Drupal through its account.



The post Key Drupal Taxonomy: Part 2 appeared first on .

on April 26, 2018 05:35 PM

Will “Avengers: Infinity War” reach the level of “Black Panther” in North America? Three months ago, that question would be sacrilege. However, In its tenth weekend, “Black Panther” is still in the top 10, where it likely remains for at least one more weekend; it should end up around $700 million domestic gross, $1.360 billion worldwide.

Almost certainly, “Avengers” will best “Black Panther” in worldwide gross. “Black Panther” made about $650 million overseas, but recent top Marvel releases, including “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” saw about a 65/35 foreign-to-domestic share, with close to $1 billion overseas.

Read More:‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Review: A Decade of Marvel Movies Collide in One Epic Showdown After Another

Opening-weekend estimates for “Avengers: Infinity War” are about $200 million, give or take $20 million; “Black Panther” opened to $241.9 over the President’s Day holiday weekend. Here are the cases for “Black Panther” and for “Avengers: Infinity War;” as always, all box-office figures adjusted.

“Black Panther”

Why “Black Panther” Could Gross More

  • “Black Panther” was a standalone social phenomenon backed by strong reviews and original elements that made it stand out earlier this year, with limited blockbuster competition. It’s hard to see what factors another “Avengers” title has that come close to duplicating its appeal.
  • At $700 million, it will effectively tie with the first “Avengers” (2012) as the biggest Marvel (or for that matter, comic-book universe) film when adjusting to 2018 ticket prices. It’s a very big number, indeed the biggest other than “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in 2012.
  • Only once before — in 2015, with “Force Awakens” and “Jurassic World” — have two films released in the same year reached that total. Two in the first half of a year would be unprecedented.
  • As with other genres, the longer it’s been since the last hit, the bigger the boost for the next. It’s been 72 days since “Panther” was released — the shortest gap ever between major Marvel movies.
  • The first “Avengers” grossed $705 million; the second $491 million. Historically, when a third Marvel entry outgrosses its  predecessors, it’s beating titles that fell in the $200 million-$400 million range. To achieve $500 million for the third installment would be terrific (it’s great for any film). To hit $700 million would be historic.
  • We have a recent precedent of an ensemble title that followed a big comic-book success. “Wonder Woman” late last summer surprised the industry as a female superhero film grossing over $400 million. “Justice League” followed five months later with all major D.C. Comics characters, including Wonder Woman, and grossed around $230 million. The momentum did not carry forward.

“Avengers: Infinity War”

Marvel Studios

Why “Infinity War” Could Gross More

  • “Black Panther” changed everything. Yes, they have been on steroids for years (nine films over $400 million so far), but with “Panther” approaching $700 million it proved the brand’s power is even more vital than its fans might have expected.  The two “Avengers” titles and “Panther” are three of the five biggest Marvel titles ever, and the new “Avengers” title could be primed for equal success.
  • “Panther” also added a lot of viewers who were generally less interested in Marvel films. Unlike some studios, Disney doesn’t release racial/ethnic demographics, but a 2015 study of Facebook Marvel fan sites showed 11 percent of its members were African-American and 19 percent were Latino. According to studies outside Disney, “Black Panther” showed opening-weekend audiences as 35 percent African American, 17 percent Latino.”Panther” clearly shows Marvel’s appeal is universal, but that title (not unexpectedly) thrived with black moviegoers (who normally are 14 percent of ticket buyers). In addition to the Black Panther, “Infinity” features most Marvel characters (Sony’s Spider-Man, but not Fox’s X-Men or Deadpool). Is the carryover interest worth $100 million-$200 million to “Infinity”? It will need to happen to achieve parity.
  • “Avengers: Infinity War” starts the “summer” movie season in the last weekend of April — one weekend before the May date owned by Marvel since “Spider-Man 3” in 2007. That extra week of breathing room is great strategy. The mid-February release of “Black Panther” had the luxury of limited competition (it grossed five times as much as any other 2018 release, an incredible dominance).It will be May soon, and big films will open, but in its first three weeks “Avengers” faces only Melissa McCarthy’s “Life of the Party” as a would-be breakout hit. (Marvel’s own “Deadpool 2” and Disney’s own “Solo: A Star Wars Story” come up May 18 and May 24, taking some of the wind out of the sails.)
  • With a $200 million opening weekend, and $250 million or more in the first week, “Avengers” could reach $500 million after three weeks, just as summer is about to begin. A great initial response means it could soar much higher.

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on April 26, 2018 05:10 PM tagged with Marvel

Most corporate websites have a Career section where people can find out what jobs are open. These sections can range from just a few standing openings to hundreds of vacant positions across multiple job types that open and close frequently. Larger companies traditionally use HR software systems to manage this ebb and flow.

One popular and powerful HR system is Taleo. Many companies simply link offsite to the taleo.com listing, which serves as the company’s only place to see and apply to openings. Other times, that same listing gets embedded on the company’s career section. As you can see in the user journey below for our client MemorialCare, this got the job done, but didn’t really convey a company’s brand or culture.

on April 26, 2018 05:07 PM
Genetics pioneer Jennifer Doudna has launched the first commercial Crispr platform for detecting disease-causing DNA.
on April 26, 2018 05:04 PM tagged with Science


Are you ready for Microsoft’s ultimate developer event? You probably already know Microsoft Build, happening May 7–9 in Seattle, Washington, is where you need to be to connect with the experts, discover new tools, and boost your skills around cloud technologies, AI, mixed reality, and more.

Sure, there will be great speakers and tech sessions galore—but did you know you could win a drone?

That’s right, we’re having a drone contest. Participants will compete against fellow conference go-ers whose drone can complete the outdoor search and rescue course designed specifically for Microsoft Build. You’ll get hands-on, end-to-end experience with Microsoft’s intelligent cloud platform, Azure IoT Edge, and be eligible to win a DJI Mavic Air drone.

How cool is that?

Here’s how it works

Contestants will create training images using AirSim, an open-source aerial informatics and robotics simulation platform. Then contestants will build and train a realistic AI drone model in the cloud using Custom Vision, and then create a container for AI deployment to Microsoft Azure IoT Edge. This intelligent cloud platform lets you run artificial intelligence at the edge of the cloud, perform analytics, deploy IoT solutions from cloud to edge-enabled devices, and manage them centrally from the cloud.

You can download the Azure IoT Edge developer toolkit from AI School during the conference, and enter your model in the contest at the Drone booth before 11 AM Pacific Time on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. At noon, we’ll randomly draw 10 lucky contestants to test their models on live drones that evening. And we’ll livestream the competition during the Microsoft Build closing celebration so everyone can get a glimpse of the action.

The winner will receive a DJI Mavic Air drone; second-place and third-place winners will take home DJI Spark drones. All finalists will receive a goodie bag full of exclusive swag. For more information and complete contest rules, please visit the Microsoft Build website.

Beyond the contest

Whether you enter the contest or fill your Microsoft Build experience with other activities, be sure to check out the drone booth in the AI area of the Expo. We’ll also have a drone museum, live mini drones flying in their own special cage, competition videos, and more.

With more than 350 incredible technical sessions and interactive workshops to choose from and dozens of inspiring speakers you’ll come away from Microsoft Build with a deeper understanding of where tech is headed and how you can be a part of the transformation.

All that and drones, too? Sounds like developer heaven. But only if you register for Microsoft Build today!

on April 26, 2018 05:04 PM tagged with Events

The St. Louis Drupal Users Group has hosted a Drupal Camp in the 'Gateway to the West' for four years (since 2014), but this year, the organizers have decided to take a year off, for various reasons. Our camp has grown a little every year, and last year we even increased the scope and usefulness of the camp even more by adding a well-attended training day—but life and work have taken precedence this year, and nobody is able to take on the role of 'chief organizer'.

Meet me in Des Moines St. Louis Drupal Camp goes to DrupalCorn in Iowa

All is not lost, however! There are other great camps around the Midwest, and this year we're directing everyone to our northern neighbors, in Iowa: DrupalCorn Camp is going to be held in Des Moines, Iowa, from September 27-30, 2018!

on April 26, 2018 04:57 PM